Warning Signs and Symptoms of Oral Cancer and its Differential Diagnosis

    Published on:March 2018
    Journal of Young Pharmacists, 2018; 10(2):138-143
    Review Article | doi:10.5530/jyp.2018.10.32

    Kavitha Muthu*1, Vedam Vaishnavi2, Ganapathy Sivadas3

    1Department of Oral Pathology, RVS Dental College and Hospital, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, INDIA.

    2Department of Oral Pathology, Faculty of Dentistry, Asian Institute of Medicine, Science and Technology (AIMST) University, Kedah, MALAYSIA.

    3Department of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry, Faculty of Dentistry, Asian Institute of Medicine, Science and Technology (AIMST) University, Kedah, MALAYSIA.


    Oral Cancer (Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma; OSCC) contributes to one of the important causes of mortality in human beings. These impending malignancies however may present clinically with warning signs and symptoms which is often neglected due to the lack of awareness in the population. Though there are developments in diagnosing early stage of oral cancer,the detection rate is continued to be minimal. Research proved a strong association between early diagnosis and better prognosis in these malignancies. Hence, knowledge regarding these warning indicators will certainly facilitate the clinicians to discover early cancer and provide an overall benefit pertaining to treatment in these patients.This review aims to highlight the early signs and symptoms of OSCC and their significance in improved prognosis of the patients. A Medline-PubMed search was conducted of the literature over the past years using the keywords: “oral squamous cell carcinoma”, “warning signs”, “Early symptom”, “clinical presentation”, “white lesion”, “ulcer”, “erythroplakia”, and “abnormal growth”. A total of 58 articles were reviewed, of which 11 were literature reviews, 15 were original studies and 32 were case reports. Appropriate Assesment and analysis were performed to identify prompt warning signs and symptoms of OSCC.The key findings of all the early presentation were Eloborated with its clinical significance. In addition,this paper also helps to identify particular type of oral malignancies with their common clinical presentation reaching its emphasis based on the warning signs and symptoms.The importance of re-evaluation and biopsy to diagnose/eliminate malignant lesion in doubtful clinical situation is also highlighted.

    Key words: Oral cancer, Warning signs, Symptoms, Persistent ulcer, White/red patch.

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