Signs of abnormality include:

White patches (leucoplakia a potentially premalignant lesion)





White patches (squamous cell carcinoma)


Red patches (erosive lichen planus which developed into a squamous cell carcinoma)


Red patches – a squamous cell carcinoma


Ulceration which may be painless and present for longer than 2 weeks (after sources of irritation have been removed)


Abnormal shape and feel, asymmetry, firm lumpy lesions (with or without lymphadenopathy)

Lesions at suspicious sites e.g :
-on the side of the tongue
-floor of mouth


By Welleschik - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0. 

Lymphadenopathy - swelling of the tissues, asymmetry of the structures of the oral cavity (including the tonsils, the tongue or the lip)

Mouth cancer 3

By Luca Pastore, Maria Luisa Fiorella, Raffaele Fiorella, Lorenzo Lo Muzio -  CC BY 2.5