50.5 MB (1.3 MB compressed)
5157 x 3425 pixels
43.7 x 29.0 cm ⏐ 17.2 x 11.4 in (300dpi)
DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
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Mouth growth. Leukoplakia (white, centre) patch in the mouth of an 61-year-old woman. This growth disorder is caused by thickening of tissue in the mucous membrane. It can be triggered by tobacco, trauma, candidiasis (thrush), dental malocclusion and vitamin deficiencies. It is most common in the elderly and people with AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome). The patches are painless and usually disappear once the cause is removed. Occasionally, however, a leukoplakia patch can become cancerous. For this reason the condition is sometimes treated by surgical excision under local anaesthetic.
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