19 doctors weighed in:

How to tell the difference between a canker sore and mouth cancer?

19 doctors weighed in
Dr. David Masiello
Internal Medicine - Hematology & Oncology
8 doctors agree

In brief: Time

Canker sores will resolve over time while a mouth cancer will not.

In brief: Time

Canker sores will resolve over time while a mouth cancer will not.
Dr. David Masiello
Dr. David Masiello
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1 comment
Dr. Yash Khanna
If canker sores do not heal then you need to biopsy and rule out or find cancer
Dr. Ed Kaplan
Internal Medicine - Hematology & Oncology
5 doctors agree

In brief: 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.

In brief: 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.
Dr. Ed Kaplan
Dr. Ed Kaplan
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Dr. Stephen Noga
Internal Medicine - Oncology
2 doctors agree

In brief: Go to dentist

Dentists are trained in this area and can help differentiate the two.

In brief: Go to dentist

Dentists are trained in this area and can help differentiate the two.
Dr. Stephen Noga
Dr. Stephen Noga
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Dr. Joseph Woods
Pathology

In brief: Nonhealing ulcers

Oral cancers can present as nonhealing ulcers that can be painful.
Tobacco use (including smokeless) and alcohol use are risk factors. Patients usually present at over age 50. Canker sores, or aphthous ulcers are painful ulcers that can go away after 2 weeks to less than a month.

In brief: Nonhealing ulcers

Oral cancers can present as nonhealing ulcers that can be painful.
Tobacco use (including smokeless) and alcohol use are risk factors. Patients usually present at over age 50. Canker sores, or aphthous ulcers are painful ulcers that can go away after 2 weeks to less than a month.
Dr. Joseph Woods
Dr. Joseph Woods
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