Oral squamous cell carcinoma: an atypical presentation mimicking temporomandibular joint disorder

Jensen, Andrea; Nolet, Paul S.; Diwan, Murtaza A.
December 2004
Journal of the Canadian Chiropractic Association;Dec2004, Vol. 48 Issue 4, p266
Academic Journal
A 50-year-old female presented to a chiropractic clinic with left jaw pain consistent with temporomandibular joint disorder. Examination revealed a large ulcerated mass on the posterolateral margin of the tongue which was later diagnosed as squamous cell carcinoma. Squamous cell carcinoma is the most common of the oral cancers. These cancers are often detected late making treatment more complicated and reducing the chance of survival. In the early stages squamous cell carcinoma can be asymptomatic. Symptoms can be similar to that of temporomandibular joint disorder making examination of the patient's mouth important to rule out oral cancers. Oral cancers should be considered when patients present to a chiropractor with pain in the area of the temporomandibular joint. Risk factors such as chronic tobacco and alcohol use should raise concern in these patients. Suspicious lesions should be referred immediately for further investigation.


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