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.
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.
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.
A patient who is older than 75 years is not eligible for the treatment. Also, pregnant women are not eligible.
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.
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.
It may take more than a year depending upon the severity of the disease. Side effects may still remain.
The cost of treatment ranges from Rs. 3,00,000 to Rs. 3,50,000.
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.
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.
Rs. 3,00,000 - Rs. 3,50,000
Cancer occurs when the controlled mechanism of the body is not able to function properly, leading to the development and rampant growth of the malignant cells in the body. These abnormally formed cells form a mass of tissues called tumor, which result in the growth of cancer. Symptoms and signs of cancer vary depending on which part of your body is affected. The early symptoms may include fatigue, loss of weight and appetite, dark patches on the skin, unexplained joint pain or bleeding.
In majority of the cases, people are diagnosed with the disease at an advanced stage where the body fails to react to any medical treatment due to low immunity and poor resistance power. There have been many contradictions regarding the prevention of cancer. Many a time, it so happens that a specific tip on how to prevent cancer recommended by one person or is advised against by another person. All these contradictions may leave you confused and baffled thinking what to do or how to steer away from cancer.
However, the notion that making healthy lifestyle choices helps prevent cancer is widely accepted these days, with the backing of science, of course. That’s why we’re here to help you out with certain ways-
Cancer treatments can be very strenuous and emotionally draining, so the best way to fight cancer is to prevent it from the very beginning. These tips on making lifestyle changes can be very useful in preventing cancer.
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
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:
Symptoms of oral cancer
Diagnosis of oral cancer
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
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.
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.
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:
Has cancer become a more common disease than what it was a few years ago?
Yes, the incidence of cancer has increased over the last few years and there are several hypotheses to explain this.
Why is there an increase in the incidence of cancer?
How much role does genetics play in cancer occurrence in an individual?
Less that 5% of cancers are attributed to genetic predisposition (i. E. Personal or family history of cancer) in an individual.
Is cancer preventable?
Some cancers are certainly preventable such as those cancers related to consumption of tobacco and alcohol. Some viral infections such as hepatitis and HPV infection predispose to the liver and cervical cancers and therefore can be prevented by use of vaccination against these viral infections.
Which all cancers are related to tobacco consumption?
Both smoked and chewed tobacco can lead to the development of cancers including cancer of mouth, Tongue, throat, voice box, food pipe and lung.
If I have never used tobacco am I still at risk of developing oral cancer?
Although more than ninety percent of oral cancers result from tobacco consumption, chronic injury by sharp teeth can lead to mucosal injury and can predispose to development of oral cancer even in people, Who have never smoked or consumed chewed tobacco.
What has changed in the last few years in the diagnosis and treatment of cancers?
1. The concept of multidisciplinary team and tumor board discussion for all cases ensures the correct sequence and best modality for treatment of cancers.
2. Availability of newer histopathological techniques, such as immunohistochemistry, liquid biopsy and next-generation sequencing for personalized treatment of cancer.
3. Better staging tools such as pet-ct and other new imaging modalities.
4. Advances in surgery cancer surgery have become less mutilating and more and more organ conservation. There is an emphasis on reconstruction, cosmetic and functional outcome. Chest and abdominal surgeries are now performed by minimally invasive surgery and robotic surgery.
5. Personalized cancer treatment, e. G. Two women with similar stage breast cancer may be treated differently based on their molecular and genetic factors.
6. Use of precision based radiation therapy techniques (imrt, igrt etc) allows better
Treatment outcomes with minimal side effects.
7. Availability of targeted therapy and immunotherapy offers better disease outcomes with fewer side effects.
How do I take care of myself to prevent cancer?
Adopt a healthy lifestyle, regular exercise and avoid smoking and alcohol consumption. All cancers are not preventable so it is advisable to go for regular check-ups and screening for cancers.
Oral cancer is the uncontrollable growth of cells called tumors that invade and damage the tissues surrounding it 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 seven types of oral cancer namely cancer in the throat, 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.
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.
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. Consumption of alcohol excessively
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.