You may notice an unexpected sight one day inside your mouth, some white filled round shaped ulcer; it may be a canker sore. This issue is often confused with cancer. Having a foreign growth inside your mouth might cause a little scare, and that is why you must explore and understand more about canker sore vs oral cancer.

This blog will equip you with extensive knowledge so that you know when to ask for medical assistance. It is essential that you visit a dentist after detecting a sore or mass in the mouth since it is difficult to determine whether your oral condition is harmless.

The canker sore may grow on the tonsils, your throat’s back – uvula or the tongue. Some individuals get tensed when they see an ulcer like growth in their oral cavity; is it mouth cancer or just a harmless canker sore? Well, this piece will clear the air for you and work as an initial guide. We have discussed “canker sore vs cancer” for your ease and identification.

Canker Sores

A canker sore is categorized in 2; major and minor severity wise. Minor canker sores are a tiny, circular ulcer that usually grows on the lips, tongue surface, cheeks, back of the throat – your uvula, or base of the gums.
Usually, minor or small in size ulcers go away themselves around the time period that varies up to 1 to 2 weeks. However, you may suffer from a large sized sore that stays for a couple of months and doesn’t heal easily.
Minor sores are usually harmless and makes a person feel nothing more than a little discomfort and consequent pain. There are various triggering factors for the development of a canker sore; that includes hormones shifts, stress factors, toothpaste with particular content, and food allergies.

Those canker sores that are bigger than ½ inch are categorized in the major division; these mostly last for more than 2 weeks. Unlike minor ones – circular, major canker sores are not of regular shape, asymmetrical having odd borders.

Unfortunately they leave a mark or scar behind after healing process.

Their presence is common amongst immunosuppressed people because of health conditions such as HIV or undergoing chemotherapy.

What is Oral Cancer?

Oral cancer vs a canker sore may grow anywhere inside your oral cavity; researchers suggest that individuals who commonly use tobacco or drink alcohol are susceptible to mouth cancer and other related problems. Oral cancer is usually seen in the tongue, lips, throat, or even cheeks.

Signs to Note for Identifying Oral Cancer:

  • Swelling, bumps, spotting, on the lips, cheek, or anywhere inside mouth cavity.
  • Cancer vs canker sore look like white or red patches inside the oral cavity.
  • Consistent mouth injuries that do not solve within the span of 14 days.
  • Mood disturbances and irritation.
  • Talking, swallowing, and jaw moving issues.
  • Fast unexplainable weight loss
  • The voice becomes hoarse.
  • Ear pain

Most of the time, cancer is seen as flat, red, or white patchwork. If you feel that your canker sore is not starting healing even after 14 days pass, it may indicate that the growth is mouth cancer.
Therefore, let your dentist check signs and symptoms for determining the real cause. As far as cancer is concerned, early diagnosis is helpful since it amplifies the chances of treatment’s success.

Cancer vs Canker Sore

  • Oral cancer and canker sore are 2 different conditions having their own set of distinguishing characters; some of which we have simplified for you:
  • Canker sores mostly heal itself within a time period of 7 to 14 days; while that is not the case with oral cancer which does not resolve within the same bracket, even after treatment.
  • Mostly, cancer growth is painless and shows little to discomfort, on the other hand if we talk about a canker sore; it may cause mild to moderate discomfort.
  • Canker sores have a flat surface, yellow, or white centered that turns gray when they start with the healing process. On the other hand, oral cancer lumps are high raised or may be sometimes flat patches; white, brown, or red in color.
  • A canker sore results in pain when you consume acidic content containing drinks. However, this issue does not create a problem in speaking, chewing, or swallowing like oral cancer bumps do.
  • Mouth cancer screening is essential for the identification process of “Oral cancer vs canker Sore.”

Treatment for Canker Sore

Nutrition Deficiencies

People who have malnutrition of either iron, vitamin B-12 or folic acid deficiencies usually suffer from recurrent canker sore growth. The addition of external supplements for a healthy body will definitely result in lesser appearance of canker sore.

Medications –Antibiotics or Antivirals

Immunosuppressive patients are susceptible to infections through bacteria or viruses. In these cases, it is necessary that you have appropriate medication for targeting the root cause. A canker sore that is orally treated in case of a viral infection is through valacyclovir and common antibiotic doxycycline is used.


Oral cancer bumps or canker sore both result in mild to moderate discomfort and pain. Therefore, in such cases NSAIDs work really well for relieving pain and providing relief.

Oral Cancer Treatment

Surgical Solution

Your healthcare professional will check whether or not the cancerous cells have spread along or are they still localized in parent area. In some cases where the growth is localized taking it out is the best option.

Radiation or Chemotherapy

When the oral disease is severe, a combination therapy of radiation and chemotherapy is opted as the treatment plan.


Oral cancer is a very common occurrence in the US. Fortunately, their survival rate is quite high around 85 to 90 percent. However, early detection is very important.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.