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Doctor insights on: Canker Sore Vs. Oral Cancer

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How do you tell the difference between a canker sore and oral cancer?

How do you tell the difference between a canker sore and oral cancer?

Time and/or Biopsy: A canker sore wil go away in a short period of time (usually days). Oral cancer won't. Only definite way to know is with a biopsy. ...Read more

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Dr. Barry Rosen
4,298 doctors shared insights

Cancer (Definition)

Cancer is a group of diseases that is characterized by uncontrolled cell growth leading to invasion of surrounding tissues that spread to other parts of the body. Cancer can begin anywhere in the body and is usually related to one or more genetic mutations that allow normal cells to become malignant by interfering with internal cellular control mechanisms, such as programmed cell death or by preventing ...Read more


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Can you tell me how to know the difference between a canker sore and oral cancer?

Can you tell me how to know the difference between a canker sore and oral cancer?

Pain: A canker sore is usually painful but likely will resolve in 10-15 days. Oral cancer is usually not painful until later stages. It can have many different appearances so it's not easy to diagnose visually. It will not resolve in 2 weeks. See a dentist, oral surgeon, or periodontist if the lesion is present for more than 2 weeks regardless of how it feels. ...Read more

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What can be the difference in a canker sore and what oral cancer looks like?

What can be the difference in a canker sore and what oral cancer looks like?

Canker sores: is the most common oral lesions. Most tongue ulcers, infections will clear up by themselves within a week or two. You should see your GP or dentist if the ulcer gets worse or lasts for longer than 2 weeks.Oral cancer appears as a growth or sore in the mouth that does not go away. If concerned see your dentist ASAP. ...Read more

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Is a canker sore that is not white oral cancer?

Is a canker sore that is not white oral cancer?

Canker sore: A canker sore it typically a painful while are that can have a red border. It lasts about 10 days. There are many other causes of sores in the mouth and if yours has been present for. 2 weeks it is best to see a dentist or oral surgeon to get it checked out. ...Read more

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How are canker sore and what oral cancer differ?

How are canker sore and what oral cancer differ?

Oral Ca: Both are ulcerations in the oral cavity, but there are significant differences. Canker sores are usually in the cheeks and lips, oral ca can be anywhere in the oral cavity. Canker sores are almost always painful, while oral ca ulcerations usually aren't painful. The biggest difference is canker sores will heal in 2 weeks, occasionally up to a month, and oral ca ulcerations don't heal, ever. ...Read more

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I dipped for 2 years and the other day I got a bump. It got bigger till it turned into what looks like a canker sore. But not white.Oral cancer?

You should see MD: You should see an oral surgeon and have it biopsied. Absolutely, need to rule out oral cancer. Nowadays incidence of oral cancer is increasing and this is related to hpv infection. ...Read more

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I have a canker sore for 6 months and it has not healed. Is it oral cancer? It is located on ground of my lips and does not hurt.

I have a canker sore for 6 months and it has not healed. Is it oral cancer? It is located on ground of my lips and does not hurt.

Not likely but it: needs to be examined. It is not feasible to provide a more informed opinion, without examining the lesion. It would be prudent to see your doctor or dentist. ...Read more

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Can mouth canker sore cause severe ear pain? I went to ent and have no fluid in ear or anything visible! Oral cancer?

Can mouth canker sore cause severe ear pain? I went to ent and have no fluid in ear or anything visible! Oral cancer?

Referred pain: Lesions in the deeper part of the mouth may cause the feeling of pain in the ear. You may wish to see your dentist for evaluation of oral health. If it is not due to oral health issues, the next step would be consult an internist to ascertain the cause of canker sores and treat the cause. For good health - Have a diet rich in fresh vegetables, fruits, whole grains, milk and milk products, nuts, beans, legumes, lentils and small amounts of lean meats. Avoid saturated fats. Exercise at least 150 minutes/week and increase the intensity of exercise gradually. Do not use tobacco, alcohol, weed or street drugs in any form. Practice safe sex. ...Read more

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Diagnosed with HPV and have a canker sore on the front of my mouth. Its not in the Back of throat like things say, should I be worried for oral cancer?

Diagnosed with HPV and have a canker sore on the front of my mouth. Its not in the Back of throat like things say, should I be worried for oral cancer?

No: It is unlikely that you have oral cancer. Was HPV detected as part of PAP smear? You should follow your doctor's advise about follow-up tests. You should still get HPV vaccine to prevent against other strains of the virus. For good health - Have a diet rich in fresh vegetables, fruits, whole grains, milk and milk products, nuts, beans, legumes, lentils and small amounts of lean meats. Avoid saturated fats. Exercise at least 150 minutes/week and increase the intensity of exercise gradually. Do not use tobacco, alcohol, weed or street drugs in any form. Practice safe sex. ...Read more

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Canker sore! i need to know if I have mouth cancer I have had a canker sorefor like 4 days now. It doesn't really hurt unless i feel lit with my tongue. I feel like its gotten a lot better because it did feel like it was an open sore when i felt it with m

Canker sore! i need to know if I have mouth cancer I have had a canker sorefor like 4 days now. It doesn't really hurt unless i feel lit with my tongue. I feel like its gotten a lot better because it did feel like it was an open sore when i felt it with m

Unlikely: The lesion could be a canker sore or from trauma. Without a history (age/smoking/tobacco/alcohol use?) and exam +/- biopsy, it is difficult to say for sure, but few docs would worried about a lesion that has been there only 4 days. If the lesion persists more than a couple weeks definitely see your dentist/pmd/ent/oral surgeon. If you are using tobacco and quit now you may avoid effects. ...Read more

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How to tell the difference between a canker sore and oral herpes?

How to tell the difference between a canker sore and oral herpes?

Canker solitary: Herpes are usually in clusters of two or more sores. The area around and under the ulcer is hard, swollen & tender. The edges of the herpetic ulcer are typically indistinct. A canker is usually a solitary ulcer with a discrete uniform edge, round to oval in shape, with a definite bottom - like a crater on the moon. The area around & under the canker is neither swollen nor hard. ...Read more

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I have a sore palate which i think it's canker sore. It's getting more frequent. Would like to get it checked for cancer. What kind of dr I should see?

I have a sore palate which i think it's canker sore. It's getting more frequent. Would like to get it checked for cancer. What kind of dr I should see?

Dentist: General dentist or oral surgeon should be able to evaluate it. Oral surgeon could biopsy, if deemed necessary. But. If you get frequent canker sores, make sure to use toothpaste without. Sodium lauryl sulfate, which has been shown to promote canker sores in certain people. ...Read more

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I always have canker sore they come and go. Is it Cancer? I have 7 tiny canker sore under my tounge.

I always have canker sore they come and go. Is it Cancer?
I have 7 tiny canker sore under my tounge.

Prevention: The reaction of people to acidic foods is very variable. Some people are just more susceptible to reactions to acidic foods and drinks, like orange juice, pineapple juice, fruits, tomatoes, and others. Stress and anxiety also create problems sometimes. As far as i know, prevention is difficult except for keeping track of what you eat/drink and when you get the sores. Second opinion?! ...Read more

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I have a a canker sore like formation on the inside of my cheek, however instead of forming a depression, its actually protruding. Is this cancer?

I have a a canker sore like formation on the inside of my cheek, however instead of forming a depression, its actually protruding.  Is this cancer?

Signs, symptoms: See oral surgeon or ENT doc if you have any of these symptoms: Persistent mouth sore, persistent mouth pain, a lump or thickening in the cheek, a white/red patch on the gums, tongue, tonsil, or lining of the mouth, a sore throat, hoarseness or feeling that something is caught in the throat that does not go away, difficulty swallowing/chewing. ...Read more

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I have a sore inside my mouth, on my cheek and it feels likea canker sore. However, it doesn't resemble with any of the pictures that I have looked up. Could it be cancer?

I have a sore inside my mouth, on my cheek and it feels likea canker sore. However, it doesn't resemble with any of the pictures that I have looked up. Could it be cancer?

Wide variation: It's nice to try to diagnose something yourself by looking at pictures on the internet, but you really need a trained professional to take a look and diagnose this. Canker sores (aphthous ulcers) can vary widely in size, appearance and number. ...Read more

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Small area on soft pallet, looks similar to canker sore, more elliptical shaped though. Dentist says a cut. If this were sign of cancer would it grow?

Small area on soft pallet, looks similar to canker sore, more elliptical shaped though. Dentist says a cut. If this were sign of cancer would it grow?

Two week follow up: If it were cancerous it will not heal. A cut on the other hand would. A good rule of thumb is if a lesion does not heal in two weeks then you should seek out professional help. ...Read more

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Why is my canker sore lasting so long? its small but so painful. it hurts to talk. on side of tongue. im fearing cancer. i cant sleep

Why is my canker sore lasting so long? its small but so painful.  it hurts to talk.  on side of tongue.  im fearing cancer. i cant sleep

Symptomatic treatmen: Although self limiting, its very symptomatic. Anesthetic swishes can help symptomatically. Also Kenalog-Orabase a steroid based compound can provide relief by reducing inflammation. Although, these will need to be prescribed by your treating physician. ...Read more

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How can I tell the difference between canker sore and a mouth ulcer? Being worked up for Lupus can this be a symptom?

How can I tell the difference between canker sore and a mouth ulcer? Being worked up for Lupus can this be a symptom?

Hard to tell: Hard to tell by just looking at lesions. But mouth sores (also referred to as oral lesions or ulcers) occur in approximately 40-50% of lupus patients and are one of the most common symptoms of lupus. http://www.mollysfund.org/2015/04/mouth-sores-lupus/ Moot point. Treat symptomatically with OTC meds and await work up. ...Read more

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I want to know what is the difference between a cold sore, a canker sore, and oral herpes?

Tough to explain in: Such a small space. Cold sore=oral herpes, both have viral etiology. Virus released from a dormant state due to stress/immune system breakdown and causes blisters. Canker sore is not of viral cause and related to trauma or immune system issues. All can hurt. Rx steroids for canker, not virus. Check w your dentist for treatment advice. ...Read more

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What is the difference between oral thrush and a canker sore? Recently got tongue pierced, now have ulcerous sore on soft palate. Unsure what it is.

What is the difference between oral thrush and a canker sore? Recently got tongue pierced, now have ulcerous sore on soft palate. Unsure what it is.

Difference is ...: Canker sores are small shallow ulcers that appear in the mouth and often make eating and talking uncomfortable. The exact cause of most canker sores is unknown. Stress or tissue injury is thought to be the cause of simple canker sores. Oral thrush is a yeast infection in the mouth and looks whitish. See a doctor if your concerned about the sore in your mouth. ...Read more

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Is there a difference between a blister/cold sore and a canker sore?

Is there a difference between a blister/cold sore and a canker sore?

Cold vs Canker sore: A cold sore or fever blister typically occurs outside the mouth; around the lips, chin and just under the nose, and are caused by herpes simplex virus type 1. In the event that a cold sore occurs in the mouth, you'll see it on the gum or soft palate. Canker sores typically erupt inside the mouth; on the tongue, inner lip and lining of cheeks. Exact cause is unknown. ...Read more

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Dr. Sandra Eleczko
513 doctors shared insights

Aphthous Stomatitis (Definition)

Are small, benign but painful ulcers of the mouth and throat. They generally resolve on their own in 10-14 days. There are various over the counter remedies that ...Read more


Dr. Louis Gallia
558 doctors shared insights

Mouth (Oral) Cancer (Definition)

Any cancer located in the mouth. Symptoms are variable but include mass in the mouth, difficulty eating, and tongue problems. ...Read more