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Treatment of Breast Cancer
Breast Cancer Surgery Treatment
Treatment of Oral Cancer
Treatment of Gastroenteritis
Treatment of Bone Tumors
Treatment of Head And Neck Cancer
Treatment of Cancer of Mouth
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Oral cancer is the name given to cancer that develops in the tissues of the mouth or oral cavity. If you interact with a specialist, you will know that oral cancers belong to a larger group of cancers called head and neck cancers. And more importantly, oral cancers are one of the most preventable cancers. You may already be aware that cancers develop when cells begin to divide indiscriminately forming malignant tumors. In oral cancers, the dividing cells are the ‘squamous’ cells found in the lining of your mouth, tongue, and lips.
An implausible fact about oral cancers is that these are most often discovered after they have spread to the lymph nodes of the neck- which means at the stages III and IV. All cancers including oral cancers become more difficult to cure at these later stages. This is why early detection is key to surviving oral cancer.
Types of oral cancers:
- Oral cancers, to be precise, including cancers of the:
- Floor of the mouth
- Roof of the mouth, including hard and soft palate
Usually, it’s your dentist who is the first to notice the first signs of oral cancer.
Tobacco use is the biggest risk factor for oral cancer. Tobacco includes smoking cigarettes, cigars, hookahs, and pipes, as well as chewing tobacco. Alcohol is another big risk factor. So, if you are one of those heavy drinkers, be aware of the scourge of oral cancer and get yourself tested periodically to rule out this killer. The risk for oral cancer also increases exponentially when both alcohol and tobacco are used together.
Other important risk factors are:
- HPV infection i.e. human papillomavirus is a sexually transmitted virus that spreads through unprotected vaginal as well oral sex
- Chronic sun exposure on the face, especially the lips
- Family history of oral or other types of cancer
- Men are more susceptible to oral cancers
- Being older than 45
- Radiation exposure
- Having any other form of head and neck cancer
Symptoms of oral cancer:
- Sore lip or mouth that is not healing
- Any growth inside your mouth
- Bleeding from the mouth, including jaws
- Loose teeth
- Difficulty or pain while swallowing
- Major trouble wearing dentures
- A lump in neck or cheek
- Chronic earache
- Serious weight loss
- Numbness in lower lip, face, neck, or chin
- Any colored patch in the mouth or lips
Diagnosis of oral cancer:
- Diagnosis starts with a physical exam of your mouth. The physician will examine the roof and floor of your mouth, the back of your throat, tongue, and cheeks, and the lymph nodes in your neck.
- If your doctor finds any tumor, growth, or suspicious lesions in your mouth, she/he will perform a biopsy to collect cells from a tumor. This tissue is then examined for cancerous cells.
- Other tests include X-rays to see if cancer cells have spread to your jaw, chest, or lungs; a CT scan to check for and reveal any tumors in your mouth; PET scan to see whether the cancer has traveled to the lymph nodes or other organs like the lungs.
- An excess of sun exposure on your face and lips increases the risk of oral cancer so you can start reducing the danger of getting this cancer by using a lip balm or cream with SPF regularly.
- Another way to reduce risk is alcohol and tobacco cessation.
- Eating a balanced diet containing fruits and vegetables
- Removing your dentures at night and using them the next day only after cleaning them
- Visiting your dentist on a regular basis so that she/he can warn you about any alarming change in your mouth.
With every passing day, there are new advancements in the field of medicine, and cancer care is no exception either. A condition that still frightens the mass has come a long way in terms of cure and management. Cancer is life threatening but when diagnosed in the early stages, can be cured with proper medical intervention.
Many cancer patients experience pain which is caused as a result of the disease or as the result of the treatments for cancer. When the cancer spreads or the malignant tumor increases in size, it puts pressure on the surrounding (bones, tissues, etc.) which intrigues the pain. The cancer treatments like chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery may also cause pain in the patients.
Here is an account on managing pain during cancer:
Treatment for Cancer Pain:
Cancer pain can be dull, sharp, or achy. It can be constant or intermittent and can be mild, severe, or moderate. There are several over-the-counter or prescription medicines available in the market which can reduce the pain caused by the growing tissues or the treatments/therapies. A few such pain relievers include aspirin, acetaminophen, and ibuprofen.
Treatment According to Severity:
For pain which is mild or moderate, you can opt for Non-opioids which are anti-inflammatory medicines and can be bought without the prescription from the drug counters. If you are having moderate to severe symptoms of pain, then you may be prescribed opioids like hydromorphone, hydrocodone, fentanyl, etc.
For burning and tingling sensation, antidepressants like imipramine or the trazodone, etc., can provide relief. You must not confuse antidepressant with medicines for depression; these are for pain management as well. You can also opt for the antiepileptics drugs which can reduce the burning or tingling sensation of cancer and have it doesn’t refer that you get seizures. If there is swelling, then steroids are the option for you to control the swelling and the pain caused from it.
Ways to Take Medicines for Cancer Pain:
Most of the medications that your doctor would prescribe you have to be taken orally if not directed otherwise. The medications are usually in the pills form. If the patient, for any reason, is not able to take the drugs orally, then he/she may have to take them as rectal suppositories and even transdermal patches.
It can also be injected into your body through an intravenous opening in which the needle with the medicine is inserted directly into the veins. There is also a subcutaneous process where the medicine is injected with a small needle just under the first layer of your skin.
Studies report that often cancer pain is under-treated. A common reason is the reluctance of the patients to speak about the pain. Other reasons for not opting for pain medications are the fear of addiction and side-effects.
Cancer pain management is indeed an important part of the cancer treatment, and the goal is to manage the pain at a bearable level. And, the best part is that the goal is often achieved.
Breast cancer is the most common forms of cancer in females, affecting one in every eight women in the US. There are huge awareness campaigns, which revolve around ways to recognize if you are prone for it and how to identify the disease in its early stages. Knowing the symptoms can help in early diagnosis and thereby early intervention and better prognosis.
How and why of breast cancer?
The breasts produce milk through the glands, which also contain connective tissue including fat, fibrous tissue, nerves, blood vessels, etc. The milk reaches the exterior through a fine network of ducts. Most cancers develop as small calcifications in these ducts, which continues to grow and spread to distant organs.
Warning signs and symptoms:
Given the high incidence of breast cancer, knowing the symptoms helps in early identification. Read on to know more, especially if there is a family history.
- Any change in the size, shape, or contour of the breasts
- Appearance of a lump in the breasts or the armpits
- Presence of a clear or bloody discharge from the breast
- The breast or the nipple turning red
- Sudden thickening of breast tissue or skin that continues for a while
- Change in the feel or look of the skin (dimpling, puckering, scaliness, reddishness, warmth, etc.)
- Hardening of the tissue under the breast skin
- Difference in appearance or feel of one area in comparison with other areas
The presence of any of these or a combination of these symptoms should be an indication for a detailed checkup. As mentioned, early diagnosis helps in reducing complications and improving prognosis. It is also good to know risk factors, which also indicate if you need to watch for symptoms.
- Family history: Breast cancer runs in families, and if you have a first-degree relative with breast cancer, watch out for symptoms.
- Tested positive for BRCA1 and BRCA2
- Family history of other cancers
- Age: Women over the age of 50 are at an increased risk of developing breast cancer.
- Race: Caucasian women carry greater risk than African-American women.
- Hormones: Increased use of estrogen increases the chances of developing breast cancer. Therefore, women who have used birth control for long time or are on hormone replacement are at greater risk.
- Abnormal gynecologic milestones: Women who have abnormal menstrual milestones are more predisposed to developing breast cancer. For instance, girls who attain menarche before age of 12, get pregnant after 30, and reach menopause after 55. Women with menstrual irregularities including cycles earlier than 26 days and later than 29 days are also likely to have hormonal issues and are, therefore, at higher risk of breast cancer.
- Other factors: Smoking, alcohol abuse, and obesity also increase the chances of a woman developing breast cancer.