Home Blog Oral Cancer Diagnosis Methods

Oral Cancer Diagnosis Methods

Dr.Prashant Kumar

Department of Bioinformatics, Kalinga University, Raipur, Chhattisgarh




Oral cancer is a type of cancer that affects the tissues in the mouth. It is caused by the abnormal growth of cells in the lips, gums, tongue, throat or other parts of the mouth. These tumours can grow in size quickly and spread to other parts of the body if not caught and treated in time. While oral cancer can affect anyone, certain factors can put a person at higher risk. Age, sex, lifestyle habits, and environment can all contribute to a person’s risk for oral cancer. The most vulnerable population for this type of cancer is those over 40, with men twice as likely as women to get it. Additionally, those who smoke or use tobacco products, consume large amounts of alcohol or have a family history of oral cancer are more likely to develop this disease. Finally, those who spend long periods in the sun without protection may be more likely to get oral cancer.


Signs and Symptoms

Early on, oral cancer may go unnoticed, as symptoms can be hard to detect. As the cancer progresses, however, some common signs and symptoms may indicate its presence. These include persistent sores or lumps in the mouth or on the lips, white or red patches inside the mouth, difficulty chewing or swallowing, speech changes, and pain or tenderness around the affected area. If any of these symptoms persist for over two weeks and are not relieved by over-the-counter medications, seek a medical evaluation. (1)



 If a diagnosis of oral cancer is suspected, the doctor will take a complete medical history and examine the mouth, throat, and neck for abnormalities. Usually, a biopsy of the affected area will be taken, and the tissue sample will be sent to a lab for analysis. Blood tests may also be conducted to look for signs of cancer. Imaging tests like X-rays, CT scans, or MRIs may also identify tumours or abnormal cell growth. Treatment, The treatment of oral cancer typically depends on the cancer stage and a person’s overall health. Surgery is usually the first line of defence for smaller tumours. This is followed by chemotherapy and radiation therapy to eliminate any remaining cancer cells.

Additionally, modified or reconstructive surgery may be needed to restore function and appearance to the affected area. It is important to remember that every case of oral cancer is unique, and the treatment should be tailored accordingly. Prevention: Since oral cancer is highly preventable, taking appropriate precautions to reduce risk is essential. These include avoiding activities such as smoking or using any tobacco product, heavily reducing alcohol consumption, and using protection when exposed to the sun. Additionally, regular dental check-ups can help spot any early signs of oral cancer before it progresses too far. Oral cancer can be severe and potentially life-threatening if not treated promptly. Unfortunately, it is often easier to detect once it has reached a more advanced stage. The best way to reduce one’s risk of developing this type of cancer is to avoid activities that can contribute to its development and to have regular check-ups with a dental professional. With early detection and appropriate treatment, oral cancer is highly treatable and can be managed without life-threatening consequences. Oral cancer is a life-threatening condition, and early diagnosis could save lives. Unfortunately, many people are not aware of the signs and symptoms of oral cancer because the situation is not well known. Early detection can mean a much more successful treatment, so it is essential to be aware of how to identify potential signs of the condition. The following article will provide information on diagnosing oral cancer, discussing the various tools and methods used and how to spot warning signs. Detecting oral cancer early can be accomplished in a few different ways.

Depending on the exact type of oral cancer being looked for, a professional may utilize a physical exam, biopsy, or imaging test. During a physical examination, a professional will examine the mouth, face, and neck area for any signs of cancer-related lesions. They may also check the tongue, throat, and palate for anything abnormal. If a site is found, the professional may take a sample of the affected tissue and submit it for further testing. Biopsy testing is commonly used to diagnose oral cancer, as it involves taking a piece of the affected tissue. This sample is then analyzed in a laboratory to assess if the cells are cancerous. The type of biopsy also varies depending on the suspected type of oral cancer, as some classes require a deeper examination of the tissue. Imaging tests, such as X-rays and CT scans, can also be used in diagnosis. X-rays can be used to identify any areas of abnormality, which can then be further investigated to determine the exact type of cancer. CT scans use radiation to produce detailed images of the area affected, which can help a professional establish a diagnosis. In addition to the methods discussed above, there are sure warning signs to look for. These include any lumps or sores that do not heal, along with a range of other, more subtle symptoms such as numbness or hoarseness of the voice, difficulty with chewing or swallowing, chronic throat irritation, ear pain, and unexplained weight loss. If any warning signs are present, visiting the doctor as soon as possible is essential (2,3).


 The diagnosis of oral cancer is an essential part of treatment. Early diagnosis will increase the chances of a successful outcome, as treatment can begin promptly. A combination of physical examination, biopsy, imaging tests, and awareness of warning signs can help diagnose this condition correctly. By familiarizing oneself with the above, the chances of detecting any signs of oral cancer can be significantly improved.




 1. American Cancer Society. (2020). Oral Cavity and Oropharyngeal Cancer. Retrieved from


2. American Dental Association. (2020). Oral Cancer. Retrieved from


3. National Cancer Institute. (2020). Oral Cavity and Oropharyngeal Cancer Treatment (PDQ®)–Patient Version. Retrieved from


Kalinga Plus is an initiative by Kalinga University, Raipur. The main objective of this to disseminate knowledge and guide students & working professionals.
This platform will guide pre – post university level students.
Pre University Level – IX –XII grade students when they decide streams and choose their career
Post University level – when A student joins corporate & needs to handle the workplace challenges effectively.
We are hopeful that you will find lot of knowledgeable & interesting information here.
Happy surfing!!

  • Free Counseling!