DETECTING ORAL CANCER
Nodular leukoplakia in right commissure. Biopsy
showed severe epithelial dysplasia.
Clinically, a leukoplakia on left buccal mucosa.
However, the biopsy showed early squamous cell
carcinoma. The lesion is suspicious because of the
presence of nodules.
Homogenous leukoplakia in the floor of the
mouth in a smoker. Biopsy showed hyperkeratosis.
Lesion photos courtesy Jens Jörgen Pindborg, Dr. Odont.
Exam photos courtesy Joseph Konzelman, D.D.S.
Figure 4—Labial mucosa
Figure 3—Labial mucosa
Figure 13—Hard palate
Figure 5—Right Buccal mucosa
Figure 9—Tongue left margin
Figure 6—Left Buccal mucosa
Figure 8—Tongue dorsum
Figure 11—Tongue ventral
Figure 10—Tongue right margin
A Guide for Health Care Professionals
Suspicious for Oral Cancer
The examination is conducted with the
patient seated. Any intraoral prostheses are
removed before starting. The extraoral and
perioral tissues are examined first, followed by
the intraoral tissues.
I. The Extraoral Examination
◆ FACE: (Figure 1)
II. Perioral and Intraoral Soft Tissue
◆ LIPS: (Figure 2)
◆ LABIAL MUCOSA: (Figures 3 and 4)
◆ BUCCAL MUCOSA: (Figures 5 and 6)
◆ GlNGlVA: (Figure 7)
◆ TONGUE: (Figures 8–11)
◆ FLOOR: (Figure 12)
◆ PALATE: (Figures 13–15)
INCIDENCE AND SURVIVAL
Oral or pharyngeal cancer will be diagnosed in an esti
mated 30,000 Americans this year, and will cause approx
imately 8,000 deaths. On average, only half of those with
the disease will survive more than five years.
THE IMPORTANCE OF
Early Detection Saves Lives
With early detection and timely treatment, deaths
from oral cancer could be dramatically reduced.
The five-year survival rate for those with localized
disease at diagnosis is 76 percent compared with only
19 percent for those whose cancer has spread to other
parts of the body.
Early detection of oral cancer is ofte