Many similar symptoms and signs are also caused by related conditions to oral cavity cancer. In fact, many forms of benign tumors (noncancerous tumors) can develop in the oral cavity. These are some of the benign oral cavity tumors that may be mistaken for oral cavity cancer:
- Condyloma acuminatum (genital warts) – small, moist and pink growth
- Eosinophilic granuloma – affects children and adolescents most often. Most often found in the bone or lungs.
- Fibroma – tumor made of fibrous connective tissues
- Keratoacanthoma – flesh-colored, fast-growing bump on skin with keratin plug in center
- Leiomyoma – often found in the esophagus, small intestine, uterus or stomach. Tumor of the smooth muscle
- Lipoma – tumor made of mature fat cells
- Neurofibroma – tumor made of nerve tissue
- Odontogenic tumor – tumor of the jaw that starts in the tissue that forms teeth
- Osteochondroma – tumor made of bone and cartilage
- Papilloma – resembles a wart on the epithelium (cells of the skin and mucous membranes)
- Pyogenic granuloma – small, round bump with an ulcerated surface
- Rhabdomyoma – appears on the tongue, pharynx, uterus, vagina or heart
- Schwannoma – single tumors that grows in the neurilemma of nerves
- Verruciform xanthoma – wart-shaped
Some of these benign tumors require surgical treatment while other resolve on their own. Medical diagnosis is the only way to know whether the tumor is cancerous or benign.