Oral candidiasis mimicking an oral squamous cell carcinoma: report of a case

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Abstract

Oral candidiasis is a significant problem in immune-compromised patients. The most common forms of mucosal candidiasis are oropharyngeal, oesophageal and vaginal, and more than 90% of HIV positive persons will manifest at least one episode of oropharyngeal candidiasis. Local and systemic factors such as uninterrupted daily use of a prosthesis by patients, smoking habit, as well as high glucose intake may contribute to the development of the lesion. The aim of this article is to report an uncommon case of oral candidiasis presenting an aggressive clinical behaviour in a 64-year-old male patient, with a significant smoking habit and a medical history of non-controlled diabetes. The lesion affected the hard and soft palate of the right side, revealing erythematous and ulcerated areas, elevated borders and central portions resembling necrosis, mimicking the clinical features of oral squamous cell carcinoma. However, the correct diagnosis of oral candidiasis was obtained after histopathological and cytological examinations and the patient was easily treated with traditional antifungal drugs and correction of his glucose levels.

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