Oral Cancers

Our providers are aware of the newly issued warning from the FDA regarding Singulair (montelukast).  Most patients tolerate this medication well without any adverse symptoms.  However, a small number of patients develop mental health symptoms, including  mood swings, depression, agitation and sleep disturbances.  The symptoms typically resolve shortly after discontinuing the medication. If you think you or your child may be experiencing symptoms related to this medication, our doctors recommend you discontinue using it immediately.  If stopping the medication, a follow up office visit should be scheduled within 1-2 weeks to discuss alternatives. For detailed information, please follow this link to the FDA website:  https://www.fda.gov/drugs/drug-safety-and-availability/fda-requires-boxed-warning-about-serious-mental-health-side-effects-asthma-and-allergy-drug

 

Our physicians believe education is a valuable component in the treatment of our patients, and we encourage you to visit the following links.

 

Oral cancers appear as red or white patches of mouth tissue or small ulcers that look like a canker sores, but are painless. Oral cancers usually form on the tongue or floor of the mouth, but can occur on any tissue in and around the mouth. This includes cancers of the tonsils, adenoids, uvula (soft palate), roof of the mouth (hard palate), inside the lining of the cheeks, the gums, teeth, lips, the area behind the wisdom teeth and salivary glands. Some of these lesions may be benign, others may be malignant, and still others are precancerous. The most common type of precancerous cells in the mouth are:

  • Leukoplakias: Leukoplakias consist of thick, white lesions that most commonly form beneath or around the tongue, cheeks or gums. These mouth sores are most often seen in tobacco users.
  • Erythroplakias: These lesions appear as a red, raised area in the mouth and have a higher incidence of becoming malignant than leukoplakias.

A biopsy is often needed to diagnose leukoplakias and erythroplakias.

Squamous cell carcinomas are the most common type of oral cancer. Less common are lymphoma and salivery gland cancers. Most oral cancers occur in people age 45 and older. When cancers of the mouth do metastasize, they are most likely to spread to the lymph nodes in the neck.