Are you wondering what canker sores are and whether you have them? Do you also want to know how canker sore vs cancer can be differentiated? Don’t worry! This article will answer all your doubts.
Canker sores are also known as aphthous ulcers. They are shallow and look like small lesions that develop inside the tissues and gums of your mouth.
Canker sores aren’t contagious and don’t occur on your lips like cold sores. However, these are pretty painful and make eating difficult.
The canker sores mainly cure within a week. However, if it persists and becomes painful with time, you should get assistance from your doctor.
These canker sores have an oval or round shape with a yellow or white center with a red lining. You will feel a burning or tingling sensation before it appears.
There are many types of these sores. Some can be minor or major and can also turn into herpetiform sores.
Minor sores are widespread and small in size. They usually heal on their own within a week. However, significant sores are more extensive and profound than minor ones. They are very painful and may take more than a month to heal. It will also leave a scar post its healing.
Herpetiform sores are very uncommon and develop at a later age in life. These sores form a significant ulcer, clustering multiple small sores. They have very irregular edges and usually get healed within two weeks.
Though these sores are self-healing, there might be a point when you need to see a doctor. Sometimes sores can make eating difficult with a high fever because of the pain. If you see it isn’t healing with time and the pain is aggravating, you should immediately get it diagnosed.
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Canker sore vs cancer
In the above section, we understood what a canker sore is and what are its type. Now, if you are wondering about the difference between a canker sore and cancer, let’s understand this in the below points.
- Healing: Any canker sore usually heals on its own within weeks. However, with cancer, the healing doesn’t happen on its own and tends to aggravate with time.
- Pain: Canker sores are excruciating and may also cause eating difficulty. But cancer will not have any such painful sores. They will just look red without any pain.
- Appearance: Cancer sores are usually raised, whereas canker sores are flat in appearance.
- Chronic problems: Canker sore may only cause difficulty in eating or chewing, but cancer will cause chronic problems like talking, chewing, or swallowing.
- Symptoms: In the case of cancer, there are many visible symptoms, like losing teeth, poor dentures, and even mouth numbness. However, in canker sore, you will only have pain in the sores and difficulty eating.
- Treatment: For treating canker sores, the doctor may just prescribe you a few types of mouthwash or oral creams to apply. However, chemo or surgery may occur in the case of cancer, depending on the crisis.
You need to get yourself diagnosed if you see something unusual happening to you. The above points of canker sore vs cancer are just to give you an idea of the differences. But if a sore does not heal for a long time, you must consult a doctor.
With evolving technology and science, everything can be cured if the detection is done on time. Cancer survivors are usually the ones who do not ignore any symptoms and immediately go through tests. So, to be sure, you must take a test even if you have a canker sore.
Mouth cancer vs canker sore
Wondering what can be the mere difference between mouth cancer and a canker sore? We have already discussed canker sore and cancer but let’s see the below points for mouth cancer vs canker sore:
- Occurrence: Mouth cancer can occur in any part of the mouth, which forms the oral cavity like the gums, tongue, lips, below the tongue, above the tongue, or inner cheeks. However, the canker sore will generally occur inside the cheeks, gums, or anywhere inside the mouth.
- Treatment: Mouth cancer is treated the same as neck and head cancer. Chemotherapy or surgery may be required depending on the condition of the sore. In the case of canker sores, they generally cure by themselves, or some medicated mouthwash or oral cream can be prescribed.
- Symptoms: Mouth cancer will cause pain in your mouth and ear or maybe a lump on the infected area. Canker sore will be painful in the irritated area, which can cause difficulty in eating.
- Healing: As we have already discussed in canker sore vs cancer, healing happens in canker sore, but cancer will not heal on its own. Likewise, mouth cancer will not heal on its own it will become lumpy, and the symptoms will aggravate.
- Pain: In mouth cancer, you may feel pain and other issues like swallowing as it starts affecting your esophagus. However, in canker sore, the pain happens in the sore area, which causes difficulty in eating.
- Cost of treatment: The cost of treating cancer is quite hefty because of chemotherapy and surgery, and it may also need post-treatment care. But in canker sore, in case you need to see the doctor, he will only prescribe some oral cream or medicated mouthwash which are pretty reasonable.
Causes of Canker sore
The causes of canker sores are unclear. However, researchers have found a few factors that trigger canker sores:
One of the common causes of canker sores is rigorous brushing, dental work, and sports mishap. Another prevalent cause is biting the inner cheeks accidentally. Have you ever checked the ingredients in your mouthwash and toothpaste? The sodium sulfate in your oral products might also cause a canker sore.
If you are prone to canker sores, then there are a few food items that you should avoid, like chocolate, cheese, strawberries, coffee, nuts, eggs, and acidic or spicy foods.
Vitamin deficiencies like zinc, iron, folate and B-12 can also be a reason for these canker sores. The bacterial response that your body reacts due to your allergies can also be the reason for your canker sores.
While menstruating, the woman may have hormonal changes that can cause these sores. Due to emotional stress, canker sores may pop out.
Some diseases may also give rise to these sores, like Celiac disease, intestinal disorder, and sensitive gluten. Some ulcerative colitis and bowel diseases may also be reasons for canker sores.
Finally, your immune system also contributes to these canker sores when signalling that there is something wrong inside.
These are some of the causes that showed the breakout of these sores. Anyone can develop canker sores. These sores are widespread among young adults and teens. However, women are more prone to canker sores.
There is also the possibility that canker sores may be related to hereditary issues. If your family has a history of canker sore, it is more likely to happen to you.
Preventive measures for canker sore
Now that you know the causes of canker sores, what can you do about them? Below are a few ways to prevent canker sores that may reduce the frequency of occurrence:
- Eating habits: Try to figure out the food that irritates your mouth. Some food products may irritate and then end up in a canker sore. For example, nuts, pretzels, chips, certain spices, acidic fruits, salty foods, and pickles. Be conscious about your allergies, if you are allergic to a particular food item, stay away from it.
- Healthy palate: Healthy food choices may help you prevent many nutritional deficiencies that cause canker sores. Try to eat wholesome meals like fruits, whole grains, and vegetables that add a lot of health benefits to your body.
- Good oral habits: Follow an excellent hygienic diet with regular brushing and flossing. Keep your mot and gums clean, which triggers a sore. Try switching to a soft bristle brush which helps in preventing gums bleeding and irritation. Check the ingredients of your mouthwashes and kinds of toothpaste. Avoid those that have lauryl sulfate in them.
- Protection to your teeth: If you already have dental application in your mouth, make sure you get yourself checked with your dentist for orthodontic waxes that cover sharp edges.
- Stress- level: Sometimes stress may cause canker sores. Hence reducing your stress levels may reduce its frequency and help prevent it.
The above measures can help you in preventing painful sores. However, if the sores persist, it is wise to get checked if you need medical assistance. Though these sores are healed by themselves, sometimes they may become very painful. Hence you will have to take action accordingly.
Though these are harmless, mouth ulcer is extremely painful and uncomfortable.
Causes of Oral Cancer
Oral cancer can start in the oral cavity. Squamous cells flat are affected in oral cancer.
Squamous cells become cancerous as the DNA changes and the cells multiply and grow. Over time, the cells spread to the entire mouth and were gradually applied to the neck and head. These can also start infecting the other parts of the body.
As per research, around 75% of people develop this cancer because of the following habits:
- Smoking: This is one of the biggest reasons for cancer. Any smoking, like cigars, pipes, or cigarettes, can cause cancer. Millions of ads talk about smoking as dangerous to health, but people are still not bothered. You will need to stop smoking immediately as it is just a way of welcoming cancer.
- Tobacco: Apart from smoking, even the use of tobacco is injurious. Chewing tobacco or using it in a hookah are some ways you invite cancer. If you or someone you know has these habits, stop them immediately. Cancer can change everything for life, not only for you but also those who care for you.
- Alcohol: Drinking alcohol isn’t healthy, but occasional drinking will never harm you. However, regular drinking may cause oral cancer in the long run.
- UV rays: Sometimes, the UV rays may also be the reason for your oral cancer. Hence using sunblock to protect the lips and skin can safeguard you from harmful UV rays.
- Family history: Sometimes oral cancer can be caused due to hereditary. Unfortunately, it becomes a concern if you have cancer in your family history.
Also, the remaining 25% develop cancer without any smoking history. Sometimes it’s just fate. However, at least you can rule out the common causes.
Life after cancer
Cancer can be excruciating. Sometimes this disease may not even have a more dangerous cure. However, the story doesn’t end there if your cancer gets cured. The pain you went through during the treatments, and the emotional and physical effects stay with you.
However, once it’s cured, a new ray of hope begins for you, and you get to kickstart your life with the same zeal. There is a slight amount of fear and worry, which might be there because cancer can re-bounce. The thought of going through it all over again is scary. Nonetheless, if you have fought this once, you are a stronger soul than before.
You are already aware of cancer’s effects on you and your family. The people around you also went through the same trauma and pain. And now that you are a cancer survivor, it is also a victory for them. Family and friends stay through thick and thin. Hence you need to appreciate the relationships you have with them.
If you need help or support from people, please reach out. They are always people there to help you. Apart from your friends and family, there are also support groups that can help you start your life after cancer. Sharing and knowing that you’re not alone in this can help.
Hence make sure you take all the preventive measures to fight against cancer. I hope this article clears all your concern about canker sore vs cancer. And now, you can differentiate between the two.