Common Specialities
{{speciality.keyWord}}
Common Issues
{{issue.keyWord}}
Common Treatments
{{treatment.keyWord}}

Overview

Oral Cancer: Treatment, Procedure, Cost and Side Effects

What is the treatment?

Oral cancer is defined as the abnormal growth of cells in any part of the lips or mouth. Most oral cancers are known to commence in the lips or mouth lining. This is the region where we find the flat cells also known as the squamous cells. Other names for this type of cancer are oropharyngeal cancer and oral cavity cancer. There is a wide range of risk factors associated with oral cancer. This involves heavy alcohol consumption, smoking, having human papillomavirus (HPV), or marijuana usage. In case of lip cancer, exposure to UV light or tanning beds increases the risk for oral cancer. Symptoms include lumps or sores on the mouth region or the lips.

The diagnosis begins with the doctor conducting an oral screening exam as part of your routine dental exam. In specific terms, your dentist will try to find out the irregular changes of tissues in your oral cavity, neck, face, and head, or feel for lumps at the same areas. During the oral examination, he will look for discoloured tissues or sores. You may also require a biopsy to determine any suspicious looking areas. The treatment methods available for oral cancer are the same as any other cancers. Firstly, it involves a surgery to remove the cancerous growth of cells, followed by a chemotherapy or radiation therapy to fully remove the remaining cancerous cells.

How is the treatment done?

After proper consultation with your doctor, you will be guided towards a specialist like an otolaryngologist, maxillofacial surgeon, plastic surgeon, radiation oncologist, and medical oncologist to treat this disease. These people specialize in surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy related to mouth cancer. Other health care professional include a speech pathologist, dentist, mental health counselor, and nutritionist.

Surgical treatment for the removal of cancerous cells is the most common treatment for oral cancer. At times, the surgeon removes the lymph nodes and other tissues from the neck as well. Patients may also have a combination treatment of surgery along with radiation therapy. Radiation therapy or radiotherapy is a kind of local therapy which affects the treated area only. It is used alone for patients who are unable to afford surgery or for treating small tumors. In some cases it is done before surgery to shrink the tumor by killing cancer cells. In order to treat oral cancer there are two types of radiation treatment used. These are external and internal radiation (implant radiation). External radiation comes from a machine and internal radiation comes from radioactive materials put in thin plastic and needles which are directly placed in the tissue. Chemotherapy is the usage of anticancer drugs to destroy cancer cells. This systematic therapy is associated with the drugs to enter the bloodstream and affect the cancerous cells throughout the body. It is usually given by injection.

Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)

A patient who has a small tumor or is unable to tolerate or afford surgery is eligible for radiation therapy. Someone with locally advanced disease is eligible for surgery.

Who is not eligible for the treatment?

A patient who is older than 75 years is not eligible for the treatment. Also, pregnant women are not eligible.

Are there any side effects?

Side effects of the treatment include soreness, pain or redness in the mouth and throat, loss of senses of taste, hoarseness, and skin colour change on the head and neck as tanned or sunburns which eventually fades away.

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

It is very important that the patient receives proper follow-up care after the treatment. Even if it seems that the cancer has been completely destroyed or removed, the disease has a tendency to return because of the undetected cancerous cells remaining in the body. Recurrence of cancer cells is regularly monitored by the doctor. Your doctor will recommend you to keep investigating your mouth and come for screening exams regularly. He may do a blood test, x-rays or a complete physical examination. Doctors also urge you to strictly stop the usage of tobacco and consumption of alcohol to prevent recurrence of oral cancer.

How long does it take to recover?

It may take more than a year depending upon the severity of the disease. Side effects may still remain.

What is the price of the treatment in India?

The cost of treatment ranges from Rs. 3,00,000 to Rs. 3,50,000.

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

No the results of the treatment for oral cancer are not permanent as the cancer cells can return in case they were not detected earlier.

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

Alternative treatments for oral cancer include using herbs like turmeric (curcuma longa), mint, thyme, basil and green tea. The usage of these herbs will provide benefit in easing the symptoms associated with oral cancer.

Safety: Low Effectiveness: Medium Timeliness: Very High Relative Risk: High Side Effects: High Time For Recovery: Very High Price Range:

Rs. 3,00,000 - Rs. 3,50,000

Popular Health Tips

Oral Cancer - 11 Serious Signs You Must Never Ignore!

MBBS, MS - General Surgery, DNB - Surgical Oncology
Oncologist, Surat
Oral Cancer - 11 Serious Signs You Must Never Ignore!

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

  1. Oral cancers, to be precise, including cancers of the:
  2. Lips
  3. Tongue
  4. Gums
  5. Cheek
  6. Floor of the mouth
  7. 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.

Risk factors
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:

  1. HPV infection i.e. human papillomavirus is a sexually transmitted virus that spreads through unprotected vaginal as well oral sex
  2. Chronic sun exposure on the face, especially the lips
  3. Family history of oral or other types of cancer
  4. Men are more susceptible to oral cancers
  5. Being older than 45
  6. Radiation exposure
  7. Having any other form of head and neck cancer

Symptoms of oral cancer

  1. Sore lip or mouth that is not healing
  2. Any growth inside your mouth
  3. Bleeding from the mouth, including jaws
  4. Loose teeth
  5. Difficulty or pain while swallowing
  6. Major trouble wearing dentures
  7. A lump in neck or cheek
  8. Chronic earache
  9. Serious weight loss
  10. Numbness in lower lip, face, neck, or chin
  11. Any colored patch in the mouth or lips

Diagnosis of oral cancer

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Prevention

  1. 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.
  2. Another way to reduce risk is alcohol and tobacco cessation.
  3. Eating a balanced diet containing fruits and vegetables
  4. Removing your dentures at night and using them the next day only after cleaning them
  5. Visiting your dentist on a regular basis so that she/he can warn you about any alarming change in your mouth.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

1872 people found this helpful

Risk Factors and Symptoms of Oral Cancer

MD - Oncology
Oncologist, Hubli-Dharwad
Risk Factors and Symptoms of Oral Cancer

Oral cancer is the uncontrollable growth of cells called tumors that invade and damage the tissues surrounding it is in or around the mouth. Oral cancer, like all other types of cancer, is life threatening if not diagnosed and treated in the early stages. There are eight types of oral cancer namely cancer in the throat, sinuses, hard and soft palate, floor of the mouth, gums, cheeks, tongue and lips. Dentists are usually the first ones to notice and detect the signs and symptoms of oral cancer. This condition is also known as oral cavity cancer. The risk factors and symptoms of oral cancer are mentioned below.

Symptoms:

The symptoms of oral cancer, especially in the first stages, seem non-threatening and similar to common oral problems. However, visiting the doctor is mandatory to rule out cancer as an option. If you suffer from one or more of the following symptoms, visit your dentist immediately.

  1. Thickenings and swellings, lumps or bumps, crusts, eroded areas or rough spots on the lips, gums or surrounding regions inside or around the mouth.
  2. Bleeding in the mouth that is unexplainable. 
  3. Persistent sores near and around the mouth or throat that bleed easily and may take more than two weeks to heal.
  4. Unexplained numbness or pain and tenderness in the mouth, throat or face.
  5. Development of patches, which are usually speckled, red or white in the mouth. 
  6. Sudden weight loss.
  7. Excruciating pain in your ear.
  8. Loose teeth.
  9. Difficulty in swallowing.
  10. Lumps in your neck. 
  11. Stiffness or pain in your jaw.
  12. Pain in your tongue.
  13. Dentures that fit poorly. 

Risk factor:

Men above 50 years of age face the greatest risk of developing oral cancer. Women are at a much lower risk of developing oral cancer than men. The following factors increase your risk of developing oral cancer: 

  1. Smoking cigarettes, cigars or pipes 
  2. Snuff, dips or chewing tobacco
  3. Excessive consumption of alcohol
  4. History of oral or other types of cancer in the family
  5. Chronic sun exposure, especially facial exposure
  6. Sexually transmitted virus such as HPV
  7. Diagnosed of oral cancer previously.
4269 people found this helpful

Oral Cancer - Understanding The Risks!

MBBS, MS - General Surgery, FRCS
Oncologist, Kolkata
Oral Cancer - Understanding The Risks!

Oral cancer is the uncontrollable growth of cells called tumors that invade and damage the tissues surrounding it is in or around the mouth. Oral cancer, like all other types of cancer, is life threatening if not diagnosed and treated in the early stages. There are eight types of oral cancer namely cancer in the throat, sinuses, hard and soft palate, floor of the mouth, gums, cheeks, tongue and lips. Dentists are usually the first ones to notice and detect the signs and symptoms of oral cancer. This condition is also known as oral cavity cancer. The risk factors and symptoms of oral cancer are mentioned below.

Symptoms:

The symptoms of oral cancer, especially in the first stages, seem non-threatening and similar to common oral problems. However, visiting the doctor is mandatory to rule out cancer as an option. If you suffer from one or more of the following symptoms, visit your dentist immediately.

  1. Thickenings and swellings, lumps or bumps, crusts, eroded areas or rough spots on the lips, gums or surrounding regions inside or around the mouth.
  2. Bleeding in the mouth that is unexplainable. 
  3. Persistent sores near and around the mouth or throat that bleed easily and may take more than two weeks to heal.
  4. Unexplained numbness or pain and tenderness in the mouth, throat or face.
  5. Development of patches, which are usually speckled, red or white in the mouth. 
  6. Sudden weight loss.
  7. Excruciating pain in your ear.
  8. Loose teeth.
  9. Difficulty in swallowing.
  10. Lumps in your neck. 
  11. Stiffness or pain in your jaw.
  12. Pain in your tongue.
  13. Dentures that fit poorly. 

Risk factor:

Men above 50 years of age face the greatest risk of developing oral cancer. Women are at a much lower risk of developing oral cancer than men. The following factors increase your risk of developing oral cancer: 

  1. Smoking cigarettes, cigars or pipes 
  2. Snuff, dips or chewing tobacco
  3. Excessive consumption of alcohol
  4. History of oral or other types of cancer in the family
  5. Chronic sun exposure, especially facial exposure
  6. Sexually transmitted virus such as HPV
  7. Diagnosed of oral cancer previously

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

3001 people found this helpful

Oral Cancer: Understanding How It Can Be Diagnosed!

MD (Radiation Oncology), DNB (Radiotherapy)
Oncologist, Noida
Oral Cancer: Understanding How It Can Be Diagnosed!

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.

India is the oral cancer capital of the world and almost half of the total nber of oral cancers in the world happen in our country. Also, oral cancers have a high local failure rate and are therefore beat treated by surgery and radiotherapy in most cases.

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

  1. Oral cancers, to be precise, including cancers of the:
  2. Lips
  3. Tongue
  4. Gums
  5. Cheek
  6. Floor of the mouth
  7. 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.

Risk factors
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:

  1. HPV infection i.e. human papillomavirus is a sexually transmitted virus that spreads through unprotected vaginal as well oral sex
  2. Chronic sun exposure on the face, especially the lips
  3. Family history of oral or other types of cancer
  4. Men are more susceptible to oral cancers
  5. Being older than 45
  6. Radiation exposure
  7. Having any other form of head and neck cancer

Symptoms of oral cancer

  1. Sore lip or mouth that is not healing
  2. Any growth inside your mouth
  3. Bleeding from the mouth, including jaws
  4. Loose teeth
  5. Difficulty or pain while swallowing
  6. Major trouble wearing dentures
  7. A lump in neck or cheek
  8. Chronic earache
  9. Serious weight loss
  10. Numbness in lower lip, face, neck, or chin
  11. Any colored patch in the mouth or lips

Diagnosis of oral cancer

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Prevention

  1. 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.
  2. Another way to reduce risk is alcohol and tobacco cessation.
  3. Eating a balanced diet containing fruits and vegetables
  4. Removing your dentures at night and using them the next day only after cleaning them
  5. Visiting your dentist on a regular basis so that she/he can warn you about any alarming change in your mouth.

Treatment 

Oral cavity cancers are these days treated with Image-guided intensity modulated radiation therapy (IGRT with IMRT). In this form of radiation therapy, the dose of radiation is focused only to organs at risk with sparing of critical swallowing neural and speaking structures. It also saves important organs like salivary glands and eyes etc. This has a huge impact on quality of life outcomes of patients. At the very least it decreases immediate problems that occur during radiation therapy and leads to better long-term outcomes such as it decreases the risk of mouth and closure non - healing ulcers, etc.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

3185 people found this helpful

Oral Cancer - 7 Risk Factors You Need To Consider!

MS - General Surgery, M.Ch - Oncology
Oncologist, Guntur
Oral Cancer - 7 Risk Factors You Need To Consider!

Oral cancer is the uncontrollable growth of cells called tumors that invade and damage the tissues surrounding it is in or around the mouth. Oral cancer, like all other types of cancer, is life threatening if not diagnosed and treated in the early stages. There are eight types of oral cancer namely cancer in the throat, sinuses, hard and soft palate, floor of the mouth, gums, cheeks, tongue and lips. Dentists are usually the first ones to notice and detect the signs and symptoms of oral cancer. This condition is also known as oral cavity cancer. The risk factors and symptoms of oral cancer are mentioned below.

Symptoms:

The symptoms of oral cancer, especially in the first stages, seem non-threatening and similar to common oral problems. However, visiting the doctor is mandatory to rule out cancer as an option. If you suffer from one or more of the following symptoms, visit your dentist immediately.

  • Development of patches, which are usually speckled, red or white in the mouth. 
  • Sudden weight loss.
  • Excruciating pain in your ear.
  • Loose teeth.
  • Difficulty in swallowing.
  • Lumps in your neck. 
  • Stiffness or pain in your jaw.
  • Pain in your tongue.
  • Dentures that fit poorly. 

Risk factor:

Men above 50 years of age face the greatest risk of developing oral cancer. Women are at a much lower risk of developing oral cancer than men. The following factors increase your risk of developing oral cancer: 

  1. Smoking cigarettes, cigars or pipes 
  2. Snuff, dips or chewing tobacco
  3. Excessive consumption of alcohol
  4. History of oral or other types of cancer in the family
  5. Chronic sun exposure, especially facial exposure
  6. Sexually transmitted virus such as HPV
  7. Diagnosed of oral cancer previously.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

3180 people found this helpful

Popular Questions & Answers

Respected Dr. I want to ask you that my father is 68 year old and he is suffering with cancer in mouth I have taken advice from hospital in Mumbai THEY HAVE suggest me for YFC sample in 3 point sin mouth kindly suggest me about YFC lab test and treatment please.

MBBS, M.S. General Surgery, M.R.C.S. England, M.Ch. Surgical Oncology, DNB Surgical Oncology, FEBS Surgical Oncology, DNB General Surgery, MNAMS, FMAS, FIAGES, FAIS, FICS, FEBS Breast Surgery, FACS, Fellowship IFHNOS & MSKCC USA, Fellowship in breast and oncplastic Surgery
Oncologist, Mumbai
I think you mean Biopsy sample. The Biopsy is taken by Oncosurgeon and sample sent to the pathology lab to confirm the cancer. The surgeon may ask for imaging like CT scan, MRI or ultrasound if he feels it to be necessary. After the imaging and Biopsy, we advise regarding the surgery, which may consist of removing the cancer with margin, neck dissection and reconstruction with a free flap or a local flap if necessary. Advanced disease may be advised chemotherapy before surgery to shrink the disease. Also, if needed, Patient may need radiation or chemoradiation post operatively. I am a cancer surgeon in mumbai. Feel free to contact me directly if you have any doubts. Also, you can meet me if you want to discuss in person.
1 person found this helpful

My father is suffering from advance tongue cancer. He is feeling problem in taking food nowadays he is unable to take juices what can we do .Doctor wrote a cough syrup but on increasing the cough we are taking a ayurvedic medicine which decreased the coughing problem. This time he is unable to walk. He always want to sleep.

MBBS, M.S. General Surgery, M.R.C.S. England, M.Ch. Surgical Oncology, DNB Surgical Oncology, FEBS Surgical Oncology, DNB General Surgery, MNAMS, FMAS, FIAGES, FAIS, FICS, FEBS Breast Surgery, FACS, Fellowship IFHNOS & MSKCC USA, Fellowship in breast and oncplastic Surgery
Oncologist, Mumbai
The prognosis of advanced tongue cancer is quite poor. If need be a nasogastric tube can be inserted through nose for feeding or a PEG tube which is Inserted into stomach endoscopically. His nutrition and energy should improve with the tube feeds. Do check his electrolytes (sodium and potassium) as they may be deranged due to decreased food intake. I hope that the tumor is inoperable or metastatic hence we are not offering curative resection which gives about 50% survival. Also the life may be prolonged in locally advanced cancers of tongue by using chemotherapy or chemoradiation. Also immunotherapy with nivolumab is an option for those who can afford it (2Lac / month) which has shown to have good responses. For those who cannot afford it, metronomic chemotherapy is a good option. I hope I was able to solve your queries. Feel free to contact me if you want to discuss further or share the reports.
1 person found this helpful

Can oral leukoplakia always turn into cancer even if tobacco is stopped. Will it regress and disappear after tobacco is stopped.In Pune were it can be surgically removed.

BDS
Dentist, Gurgaon
It takes a lot years to go away .some times it also converts to cancer. If there is strong irritation. Sometimes mouth does not open. It can be oral submucous fibrosis as well. Kindly visit dentist for clinical review.

In my biopsy report there is showing 2nd primary cancer in jaw mouth corner Doctor told it's early stage go for immediate treatment. I have planned for Mumbai Tata memorial hospital. Please suggest it will be best for treatment if yes then what will be the maximum approximately cost for this treatment including everything surgery, hospital and test. Please tell me about cost and is this curable?

MBBS, M.S. General Surgery, M.R.C.S. England, M.Ch. Surgical Oncology, DNB Surgical Oncology, FEBS Surgical Oncology, DNB General Surgery, MNAMS, FMAS, FIAGES, FAIS, FICS, FEBS Breast Surgery, FACS, Fellowship IFHNOS & MSKCC USA, Fellowship in breast and oncplastic Surgery
Oncologist, Mumbai
Where Was the first primary cancer? Jaw cancer treatment usually includes surgery upfront, which may entail partial removal of bone. Also neck nodes may need removal. Also the defect needs reconstruction depending upon the amount of tissue excised. It can range from primary closure, local flaps to microvascular free flap with or without bone. Sometimes in locally advanced cases, we ask for PET scan to rule out metastasis and consider chemotherapy before surgery. If early stage, node negative, surgery would be the only treatment needed and high chance of cure. Adjuvant therapy in the form of radiation or chemoradiation maybe needed depending on the pathology report. Tata Memorial Hospital is a good hospital. I also did my training i.e. M.Ch. Surgical Oncology from there. The only issue is waiting list, which can range from weeks to months there. If you are having early oral cancer it's best to get it operated without waiting as the tumor may progress in the mean time. If it becomes node positive the prognosis becomes poorer. The cost varies from the hospital and the type of surgery and the class of the room in which you are admitted. It can range from 20-30k in general ward of Tata to 1lac in gen ward of our hospital (non free flap) to 7-8 lacs in suite of private hospitals.

Which hospital is best for oral cancer surgery in delhi? I am consulting to maulana azad institute of dental sciences are they good option for oral cancer surgery?

MBBS, M.S. General Surgery, M.R.C.S. England, M.Ch. Surgical Oncology, DNB Surgical Oncology, FEBS Surgical Oncology, DNB General Surgery, MNAMS, FMAS, FIAGES, FAIS, FICS, FEBS Breast Surgery, FACS, Fellowship IFHNOS & MSKCC USA, Fellowship in breast and oncplastic Surgery
Oncologist, Mumbai
I dont have exact idea about Delhi, but in Mumbai I am a Consultant at H.N. Reliance hospital, where we have operated quite a few patients from Delhi. But I am sure there would be many hospitals in Delhi where they operate oral cancer patients.

Table of Content

What is the treatment?
How is the treatment done?
Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)
Who is not eligible for the treatment?
Are there any side effects?
What are the post-treatment guidelines?
How long does it take to recover?
What is the price of the treatment in India?
Are the results of the treatment permanent?
What are the alternatives to the treatment?
Play video
Know More About Cancer
Homeopathy Treatment for Cancer
Play video
Know More About Cancer
What You Need To Know About Cancer?
Play video
Know More About Cancer
Symptoms of various Cancers
Play video
Cancer Of Cervix (Cervical Cancer)
Hello friends,

I am Dr. Jayanti Kamat, director of Srishti Fertility Care Centre and Women's Clinic I am an IVF Consultant, an obstetrician and gynecologist practicing for the last 20 years.

So today I will be talking about Cancer of the cervix, Cancer cervix is the commonest cancer found in Indian women after breast cancer. Every year according to WHO studies 1, 24,000 cases have been detected and annually there are 64,000 deaths, so cancer cervix is a very deadly disease. So what is this cancer cervix, the cervix is the mouth of the uterus? Now, what are the causes of Cancer cervix there are many causes of Cancer cervix but the commonest cause is a virus called as HPV or Human Papilloma Virus, now this virus is responsible for 70% of cases of Cancer cervix. HPV is a very common virus it is usually contracted during sexual intercourse so what does this HPV virus do, it enters into a normal cell and it changes the mechanism and the machinery inside the cell and once it changes the mechanism in machinery of the cell, the cell start behaving little differently and then these abnormal cells they multiply and once they multiply they form a tumor called as cancer cervix. Now, what are the other causes of Cancer cervix that is an early age of marriage then repeated pregnancies the more the number of pregnancies more is the incidence of Cancer cervix, then sexually transmitted diseases, smoking also increases the incidence of cancer cervix? Now this HPV virus it is not that every woman who is infected with HPV virus will develop cancer cervix it all depends on the dose of the virus which infects the cells and the immunity of the person as well. In some women the HPV infection becomes a self-limiting disease in the sense, it gets cured by itself. And in some women say after the period of 5, 10 or 15 years it can cause dysplasia or changes in the cells which later on formed cancer cervix. Fortunately, friends, cancer cervix is one of the few cancer which can be detected at an early stage very easily and how can we do it, there is the simple test called for Pap Smear and also we do have vaccines as of today or HPV vaccines which helps to prevent this HPV infected cells to get converted into cancer. HPV vaccine, now this HPV vaccine is one of the few vaccines which have been invented for the prevention cancer, so we are lucky to have such a vaccine. So this vaccine it has to be given to all girls between the ages of 9 and 26 days before they become sexually active. So this vaccine will prevent the HPV cells from HPV infected cells from developing into cancer there are three roses of this vaccine which have to be completed within 6 months. Now what is this Pap test is a very simple test it can be done on a small clinic or in a big hospital it can be done anywhere, it is an OPD procedure the patient does not have to go for fasting nor it is painful, nor does it required anaesthesia. So when should this Pap test is ideally done, Pap test should be ideally done after menses preferably between the 5th and 10th day of menses and what should you expect during the Pap test procedure the gynaecologist will examine you and take a few cells from your cervix with the help of a spatula and then send those cell to the pathologist for examination. So by examination these cells the pathologist will know whether the cells are normal or abnormal. So what are the advantages of Pap smear so when the gynaecologist examine you she or he will also find out whether your cervix is normal or whether the cervix has Erosion. So this erosion can also cause white discharge so what is that erosion the cells from inside the cervix they just come out so the treatment for this erosion can be done by cautery or just burning the tissue. The gynaecologist will also see that if you have some cervical polyp that also will be visible during the Pap test procedure. So if the polyp is there the polyp can be removed at the same sitting. Now, what is the Pap test come abnormal, the next step will be colposcopy. What is colposcopy? Colposcopy is when the cervix is visualized with an instrument called as colposcope which magnifies, which gives a very magnify review of the cervix. So what does the doctor see through the colposcope, the doctor will see whether the cells are normal or abnormal, there are different criteria blood vessels, the pattern of blood vessels etc and by observing all these things the doctors will be able to make out whether there is some suspicious area which is indicative of malignancy. So from such a suspicious area the biopsy is taken and the biopsy is again sent to the pathologist, so ensure the biopsy will be the test in which we can find out whether the lady has cancer or not. So now what are the symptoms of cancer cervix, so cancer cervix in its early stage has no symptoms at all and that is why we do Pap smear? Pap smear my dear friends is a screening method and not a diagnostic method, what is the screening method that we try to find out the early stages of the disease even before the patient has symptoms and why do we do that because if this cancer is detected in early stage the treatment is very simple and if it is detected in the later stage, the treatment can get complicated and goes much agony and pain to the patient. Now cancer in the little later stage will give rise to symptoms such as white discharge, blood stained discharge, discomfort, pain during sex, bleeding immediately after sexual intercourse and even with the small gynaec examination also the patient may start bleeding, patient may have swelling of feet, sudden loss of weight or pain during urination so all these can be the symptoms of cancer cervix. So whenever lady has these symptoms she has to go and consult her gynecologist. Now what if the biopsy report comes as positive for malignancy there are various methods in which cancer cervix is treated, one is surgery where we remove the cancerous part. The next is radiotherapy, radiotherapy can be two types of radiotherapy, one is external radiotherapy whereas the radioactive source is kept outside the body of the uterus and there is another method called as the intracavitary radiotherapy whereas the radioactive source is kept inside the body of the lady. Then we have chemotherapy as well or sometimes the patient may require a combination of various therapies. So, friends, it is my earnest request to you please get a Pap test done today itself and Pap smear has to be done once in every 3 years for all women under the age of 40 and after 40 it has to be done every year, the Pap test has to be done every year after the age of 40 combined with the HPV testing as well. So we can reduce the incidence of Cancer cervix by being very vigilant, by following safe practices, by avoiding things like smoking and of course getting a Pap smear and an HPV testing done just as we have eradicated polio from India, I strongly believe that if all of us are vigilant we can surely reduce the incidence of cancer cervix in India today, thank you.

If you have any queries about Cancer Cervix, please contact me on Lybrate.
Play video
Cervical Cancer
Here are screening and treatments of cervical cancer.

Hi all I am Dr Gunjan Gupta Govil . I am director by Gunjan s Gynae and Neuro clinic. I am senior consultant gynaecologist at Max hospital, Vaishali and Shanti Gopal hospital, Indrapuram. My field of interests are infertility, laparoscopy, IVF and quantroscopy. I Have trained from St George Medical College Lucknow and Mulana Azad Medical College and then I further moved to United Kingdom. I am a member of Royal College of Obesteration and Gynaecologist, London and trained into Laparoscopy from France. My other field of interest which is very close to my heart is about women health and their upliftments, so that is why I plan to speak about cervical cancer screening and treatment.

The one to talk about cervical cancer. Well it is the most common cancer in females of India. It surpasses the battle breast cancer also in this country, whereas worldwide it comes at number three. Believe me one out of seven are diagnosed with disease in this country, so why in our country we are having such a high incident of cervical cancer. Well because we do not have a organised screening system which runs worldwide. It is so sad that a simple test like Pap smear which can diagnose the condition. All the abnormalities of the cervix at much earlier stage than cancer that it is 100% curable is not been done in our country. We can diagnose the abnormalities of the cervix by Pap smear and there is advancement in the technique or liquid based hydrology and further evaluation is done by cytoscope and HPV DNA testing.

A common myth is that pap smear is painful, well they are not. They are a simple procure including LBC and Colposcopy can be done in the outpatient basis in clinic requires 10 to 15 minutes. No bed rest is required and you can resume your day to day activity after that. How is LBC done? This is done by simple brush which we take, we take brushing from the month of the uterus or the cervix and send it to the lab for testing. The test takes 3 to 5 days to come and further evaluation is done by cytoscopy if abnormalities are diagnosed. During cytoscope we can see and diagnose abnormalities of the cervix like ulcers on the mouth of the uterus which are know cervical erosion or pre cancerous lesions of the cervix which we call cervical displacias. In the procedure we take special images by means of a microscope or special equipment called a scroscope put certain filter and colours to it and certain medicines to it. Its gives us the exact mapping of the abnormalities and on the bases of the abnormalities simple procures can help us in treating the condition.

At this stage the treatment is as simple as freezing procure called cyro by means of extraction which we call leap. So here I would like to show you a simple thing. This is how cytroscope report looks in which there is a normal normal cervix and this has no abnormalities in it therefore it is dark brown in colour whereas this is a image of abnormal cervix which does not take up any stain and it is yellow in colour and here we see it white. So these are simple test which help us to diagnose the condition. Here I Gunjan s Gynae and Neuro clinic we are doing this procure as a routine.

If you want to connect with me, you can call, chat or picture call me through Lybrate.com
Having issues? Consult a doctor for medical advice