Oral cancer: Common sites, Incidence, Clinical Manifestation, Investigation, Palliative care, Management

Introduction | Definition | Common Sites of Oral Cancer | Incidence | Clinical Manifestation | Diagnostic Evaluation | Management | Palliative care |


  • Oral cancer is also known as mouth cancer.
  • Oral cancer is cancer that develops in the tissue of the mouth or throat. It belongs to a large group of cancer called head and neck cancer. Most develop in squamous cells found in your mouth, tongue, and lips. It can be fatal if not diagnosed in the early stages.

*What is the definition of oral cancer?


  • “Oral cancer is defined as uncontrolled growth or sore in mouth.that does not go away. “
  • Oral cancer and high include cancer of lips, tongue, cheeks, the floor of mouth hard and soft palate, sinuses, and pharynx (throat).
  • Oral cancer is a type of head and neck cancer is any tissue growth located in the oral cavity.
  • It may arise as from distant sites of the origin or by extrusion from neighboring anatomic sites such as a nasal cavity.

*What are the common sites of oral cancer?

Common sites of oral cancer:-

  • Lower lips.
  • Lateral or under the surface of the tongue.
  • Buccal mucosa.
  • Hard and soft palate.
  • Pharyngeal wall.


  • More common after 45 yr of age – male: female is 2:1.
  • Oral cancer accounts for 50% of 70% of total cancer mortality.

*Enlist the clinical manifestation of oral cancer?

Clinical manifestation:-

  1. Leukoplakia:- White patches on the mucosa of the mouth or tongue.
  2. Hyperkeratosis:- Hard and lethargy White patches.
  3. Erythroplakia:- Rad velvety patch on the mouth or tongue.
  • Painful ulceration.
  • Soreness of tongue.
  • Increased salivation.
  • Dysphagia.
  • Slurred speech.
  • Toothache.
  • Earache.
  • Difficulty in chewing/mastication.
  • Mouth, lip, tongue, maybe pale or dark color or disorder.

*Enlist the diagnostics evaluation of oral cancer?

Diagnostic evaluation:-

  • P.E.T.
  • X-ray.
  • CT scan.
  • MRI.
  • Biopsy.
  • Oral exfoliative cytology.
  • Toluidine blue test.

*Describe the management of oral cancer?


Surgical management:-

  • remove tumor.
  • Removal of the cancerous lymph node.
  • Glossectomy (partial /complete).
  • Removal of the lower jaw.

Medical management:

  • Radiation therapy.
  • Chemotherapy.
  • Immunotherapies.
  • Molecularly target therapy:- Targeted cancer therapies are drugs or other substances that block the growth and spread of cancer by interfering with specific molecules that are involved in the growth progression and spread of cancer.

Management in case of metastatic cancer:-

  • Radial neck dissection:- It includes wide excision of the involved area.
  • A lesion with the removal of regional lymph nodes the deep cervical lymph nodes and their lymphatic Channels (depending upon the extensiveness) the sternomastoid muscle, internal jugular vein mandible, the submaxillary gland.
  • Modified neck dissection:- It involves dissection of major cervical lymphatic vessels and lateral cervical space with preservation of nerve blood vessels and jugular vein.

Palliative care:-

  • It aims to treat symptoms and make the patient more comfortable.
  • Dysphagia – Gastrostomy
  • Pain – Analgesic, and narcotics.
  • Increased salivary secretion:- Frequent suction of the oral cavity.

Nursing management:-

  • The risk for ineffective airway clearance related to oral surgery.
  • The risk of imbalanced nutrition less than body requirement related to oral surgery.
  • Impaired verbal communication related to glossectomy.
  • Disturbed body image related to surgical excision of the tongue.

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