Pathology

Squamous cancers of the oral cavity are associated with heavy consumption of both tobacco and alcohol. Other aetiological factors are:

♦ Diet (deficient in Vitamin A, fruit, and vegetables)

♦ Poor dental hygiene

The other less common malignancies in the oral cavity include:

♦ Salivary tumours (adenoid cystic, mucoepidermoid, adeno-carcinoma)

♦ Plasmacytomas

Squamous cancers in the mouth present with a mucosal irregularity which progresses either into an ulcerated destructive lesion or a more exophytic growth. These can be highly aggressive tumours, invading and destroying adjacent local tissues including the bone of the mandible, and disseminating to regional lymph nodes in the neck and submandibular region.

The region is divided anatomically but tumours commonly involve more than one region:

♦ Alveolar ridge/retromolar trigone (10%)

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