3 doctors weighed in:

How do you tell the difference between a recurring oral ulcer and oral cancer?

3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Samuel Mckenna
Surgery - Oral & Maxillofacial
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Oral Ulcer

Oral cancer is usually characterized by a non-helaing oral lesion.
A recurrent ulcer that heals between events is less likely to represent oral cancer. The definitive test to diagnose oral cancer is a biopsy of any suspicious lesions. Oral biopsy is a very straightforward process that can generally be accomplished in 15 minutes with local anesthesia.

In brief: Oral Ulcer

Oral cancer is usually characterized by a non-helaing oral lesion.
A recurrent ulcer that heals between events is less likely to represent oral cancer. The definitive test to diagnose oral cancer is a biopsy of any suspicious lesions. Oral biopsy is a very straightforward process that can generally be accomplished in 15 minutes with local anesthesia.
Dr. Samuel Mckenna
Dr. Samuel Mckenna
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Dr. Daniel Quon
Surgery - Oral & Maxillofacial

In brief: Good Clinical Exam

Most apthous ulcers or the oral cavity will run its course in a week to ten days.
Herpetic ulcers may completely disappear and reappear in the same location. The oral cancer lesion will usually not be a lesion that disappears and reappear in a different location. The oral cancer lesion will often have an rolled raised border with a crusty or inflamed appearance, and feel indurated.

In brief: Good Clinical Exam

Most apthous ulcers or the oral cavity will run its course in a week to ten days.
Herpetic ulcers may completely disappear and reappear in the same location. The oral cancer lesion will usually not be a lesion that disappears and reappear in a different location. The oral cancer lesion will often have an rolled raised border with a crusty or inflamed appearance, and feel indurated.
Dr. Daniel Quon
Dr. Daniel Quon
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