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Formation of thickened white patches on mucous membranes, particularly of the mouth and vulva.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



milky-white spots (radius, to 0.5 cm) on the mucous membranes near the skin (for example, on the lower lip) and on the cheeks, tongue, bottom of the mouth, esophagus, cervix uteri, vagina, and urinary bladder.

Leukoplakia is one of the precancerous diseases. Smoking, advanced tooth decay, excessive consumption of alcohol or spices, certain inflammations of the oral cavity, avitaminosis A or B complex, and poorly fitting metal dental bridges, fillings, and crowns may give rise to leukoplakia. The disease occurs in two forms. In simple leukoplakia, the mucous membrane is smooth; its surface resembles mosaic or parquetry. This may be complicated by fissures or erosions. In verrucose leukoplakia, the mucosa is raised and the color varies from pearly to chalky. Patients complain of sensations of petrifaction, burning, and tenderness. Treatment is by surgical removal, electrocoagulation, or radiation therapy.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Elucidating risk factors for oral leukoplakia affecting gingivae in Japanese subjects.
Is there a natural limit of the transformation rate of oral leukoplakia? Oral Oncol 2003;39(5):470-5.
Other research that included patients with oral leukoplakia showed a positive correlation between MMP-9, VEGFR2, and the degree of epithelial dysplasia [97].
proposed COX-2 and Ki67 as biomarkers for the malignant transformation of oral leukoplakia. They revealed a higher COX-2 expression in OSCC samples compared to oral intraepithelial leukoplakia and oral hyperkeratosis, with a positive correlation between COX-2 levels and the severity of the lesions being observed.
Oral leukoplakia is the most common premalignant lesion in oral cavity and is associated with the development of oral cancer.
There is also an increased risk of oral leukoplakia (pre-cancer) and oral cancer; 75 percent of cases of oral cancer and lip cancer occur in smokers.
Induction of apoptosis and up-regulation of cellular proliferation in oral leukoplakia cell lines inside electric field.
A study of salivary lactate dehydrogenase isoenzyme levels in patients with oral leukoplakia and squamous cell carcinoma by gel electrophoresis method.
A further study suggested that BQ use was an important risk factor of both oral submucosal fibrosis (OSF) and oral leukoplakia [18] and smoking had a modifying effect in oral leukoplakia development [18].
The frequency of dysplastic or malignant alterations in oral leukoplakia ranges from 15.6% to 39.2%.