What is oral cancer (oral cavity)?
Oral cancer (oral cavity) is part of the family of head and neck cancers, also known as upper aerodigestive tract cancers. It is characterized by the appearance, development and spread of abnormal cells in the oral cavity. It mainly affects the following regions and structures:
Find the best dentist
Structures affected by oral cancer
Among the structures most often affected by oral cancer, there are several in the lower part of the mouth, including the tongue, the floor of the mouth (under the tongue, especially near the lingual brake and the side of the mandible on which the tongue rests) and the lower lip. Moreover, of all oral cancers, more than half are located on the sides and underside of the tongue.
In addition to the lower structures of the mouth, oral cancer also affects the soft palate and oropharynx. Very rarely, it can occur inside the cheeks (the jugal mucosa), on the gums, on the salivary glands and on the hard palate.
Histological types of oral cavity cancers
More than 90% of oral cancers originate in the scaly (flat) cells that line the oral cavity. This type of cancer is identified as squamous cell carcinoma, an aggressive malignant tumour. Fortunately, this tumour is the most easily detectable with the naked eye, but also the fastest spreading.
Other types of oral cancers include:
Many cases of oral cancer originate directly in the mouth when one or more of the risk factors described below are present.
Some others originate elsewhere in the body, for example in the nasal cavity or sinuses, and spread to the mouth as metastases.
Conversely, a cancer located on the tongue or oral floor often and quickly produces distant metastases, i.e. it spreads to other parts of the body. Among these areas that are particularly likely to be affected are the lymph nodes in the neck.
Avis aux lecteurs
Sachez que certaines photos présentes sur le guide des soins Bücco, illustrant des situations cliniques où des personnes ne respectent pas la distanciation de 2 mètres ou ne portent pas un masque, ont été prises avant l'ère COVID-19.
Merci de votre compréhension à ce sujet.