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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

The ABCs Of Cancer Prevention!

MBBS, M.S., MCh - Surgical Oncology
Oncologist, Bangalore
The ABCs Of Cancer Prevention!

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-

  1. Avoid all forms of tobacco: It is probably one of the best health decisions you can make since consumption of tobacco can cause cancer in your oral cavity or pancreas. Smoking also has adverse effects on your health and most likely affects your lungs. If you’re having difficulty in quitting cigarettes, consult a doctor for strategies and anti-smoking medications that may help you. Also, limit consumption of alcohol to maybe once or twice a week because excessive alcohol consumption can cause cancer in the liver, esophagus or larynx.
  2. Maintain a balanced diet: Intake of red meat and saturated fat can increase the chances of prostate and colon cancer. So reduce intake of fried and charbroiled food. Include lots of fruits and vegetables, whole grains and fish to your diet. Food that is rich in fiber can help reduce the risk of colon cancer.
  3. Control your body weight: One major risk factor that may lead to cancer is obesity; so, you need to maintain a balanced weight. High-calorie foods like fat from animal sources and sugary beverages increase your body weight. Exercise or any sort of physical activity can help you reduce weight and hence lower the risk of developing prostate and colon cancer. It also helps to reduce chances of breast cancer or cancer in any reproductive organ among women.
  4. Avoid exposure to radiation: Ultraviolet rays and unnecessary sun exposure can cause skin cancer and melanomas, so make sure you have taken necessary precautions before stepping out. You can go for a good sunscreen with effective SPF to keep yourself protected from the harmful UV rays.

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.

3297 people found this helpful

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!

1875 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.
4271 people found this helpful

Oral Cavity Cancer - How Ayurveda Can Help Treat It?

MD - Ayurveda, Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery (BAMS)
Ayurveda, Thane
Oral Cavity Cancer - How Ayurveda Can Help Treat It?

The oral cavity consists of the lips, gums, teeth, cheeks (buccal mucosa), the frontal 66% of the tongue, the hard top of the mouth (hard palate), the floor of the mouth beneath the tongue and the region behind the wisdom teeth (retromolar trigone). Development of oropharyngeal cancer occurs in the region of the throat behind the mouth, called the oropharynx. The oropharynx starts where the oral depression closes.

The World Health Organization states that oral cancer ranks eleventh in terms of the common cancer around the world. It is commonly found in men and its spread is slightly higher in developing countries. Excessive consumption of alcohol and tobacco contributes to around 90% of oral cavity cancer cases.

Cancerous oral growth is dealt with procedures which are similar to treatments of different cancers i.e. with the assistance of surgery followed by radiation treatment. In radiation treatments, patients may need to manage the various side effects. Specialists at the Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology (RGCB) along with the Regional Cancer Centre in Kerala have made a mouthwash utilizing herbal substances, as recommended in Ayurveda, which can help in diminishing the intense amount of pain in patients experiencing radiation therapy for oral cancer. 

Other important Ayurvedic remedies may entail the following:

  1. Lemon: A deficiency of vitamin C is experienced in the body once you are diagnosed with oral cancer. Therefore, consuming fresh lemon juice, which is rich in vitamin C, around 3 to 4 times a day, is very helpful
  2. Carrots: Carrots are rich in 'beta-carotene' which is considered to be an anti-cancer nutrient. It is recommended for patients suffering from oral cancer since it is a source of antioxidants. Consumption of at least 1 glass of carrot juice per day helps in fighting this form of cancer.
  3. Grape Seed: The seeds of the grapefruit are rich in antioxidants which help to destroy the radical cells. These radical cells damage the cells present in the mouth, thus causing oral cancer. The vitamin E, C and beta-carotene present in grapes strengthen the immunity system. The grapes should be crushed to form a paste and the liquid should be strained to form a juice. Consume this juice 3-4 times in a day.
  4. Bitter gourd: It is rich in alpha eleostearic acid, which helps in elimination of cancerous cells without affecting the normal ones.

10 Health Issues Caused By Bad Oral Health

BDS, Certificate in Cosmetic Dentistry, Certified in Orthodontics, Certification in Prosthodontics & Periodontology, Advanced Endotontic Course On Root Canal
Dentist, Pune
10 Health Issues Caused By Bad Oral Health

Oral health is about so much more than just the health of the mouth, teeth, and gums. Because the mouth is a primary entryway into the body, poor oral health can have negative consequences for the entire body. Teeth that ache, gums that bleed, and breath that smells bad are all indicators of poor oral health. Bacteria from the mouth can easily get into the bloodstream and cause infection and inflammation wherever it spreads. It is important to practice good oral hygiene and to see a dentist regularly in order to avoid serious risk to the body’s overall health. Here are some common and serious health problems caused by bad oral health:

Cardiovascular Disease

Having poor oral health puts a person at risk for heart disease. If the gums are inflamed due to the bacteria that causes periodontal disease, that same bacteria can actually get into the bloodstream causing the arteries to build up plaque and harden. This hardening of the arteries is called atherosclerosis, and it is very serious. It leads to blood flow problems and heart blockages, and it increases the likelihood of having a heart attack. The damaging impact on the arteries and blood vessels can lead to hypertension and increase the risk for strokes. Endocarditis can also develop, which is an often fatal condition that occurs when the lining of the heart becomes infected.

Dementia

Poor oral health can affect the brain. Substances that are released from gums inflamed by infection can actually kill brain cells and lead to memory loss. Dementia and possibly even Alzheimer’s disease can result from gingivitis when the bacteria in the mouth spreads to the nerve channels or enters the bloodstream.

Respiratory Infections

The respiratory system can suffer as a result of poor oral health. Bacteria in the mouth from infected teeth and swollen gums can be breathed into the lungs or travel there through the bloodstream. Once there the bacteria can lead to respiratory infections, pneumonia, acute bronchitis, and even COPD.

Diabetes

Not only are diabetics already more susceptible to infection such as infected gums that lead to periodontal disease, but periodontal disease can in turn make diabetes more difficult to control. Symptoms can worsen as blood sugar levels go haywire because of gum disease. It is especially important for diabetics to take good care of their oral health to prevent complications with their disease. Because gum disease can lead to higher than normal blood sugar levels, a person with poor oral health is at an increased risk of developing diabetes.

Pregnancy Complications

It is imperative for expectant mothers to practice good oral hygiene. Hormonal changes in the body during pregnancy can cause a woman to develop oral infections much more easily. Any infection in the mother’s body increases her risk of experiencing pregnancy complications. Oral health problems in the mother such as periodontitis and gingivitis have been known to lead to premature birth and low birth weight in infants. Gum disease puts both mother and baby at risk for experiencing serious health issues.

Infertility

There is a link between poor oral health and problems with infertility in women. Gum disease can lead to various overall health issues that can make it more difficult for a woman to conceive and sustain a healthy pregnancy. It can actually take longer for a woman with poor oral health to get pregnant than it would for a woman who has good dental health.

Erectile Dysfunction

Having poor oral hygiene puts a man at an increased risk for suffering from erectile dysfunction. Chronic periodontal disease is known to be related with ED. CPD is an infection that occurs when gums pull away from teeth, which creates pockets that carry bacteria and allows the bug to spread to the bone surrounding teeth. Bacteria from diseased gums can get into the bloodstream and cause blood vessels to become inflamed. This inflammation can block the flow of blood to the genitals, making erections more difficult or even impossible to achieve.

Cancer

Obviously, poor oral health practices such as smoking or using tobacco products can lead to oral and throat cancers, but other types of cancer have also been linked to gum disease. Risk for kidney cancer, pancreatic cancer, and blood cancers is much higher for people who have poor oral health.

Kidney Disease

Chronic kidney disease is a serious health problem that affects the kidneys, heart, bones, and blood pressure. Infections in the body such as periodontal disease can lead to kidney disease. People with gum disease generally have weaker immune systems and are more likely to aquire infections. Many people who suffer from very poor oral health also suffer from kidney disease. Kidney disease can be fatal if it leads to kidney failure or cardiovascular disease.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

According to the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society, people with gum disease were four times more likely to have Rheumatoid Arthritis. Both diseases have inflammation in common. The oral bacteria from gingivitis can increase inflammation throughout the body. This makes the risk for developing rheumatoid arthritis, a painful and debilitating inflammatory disease, much higher.

Prevention

The best way to prevent serious health issues caused by bad oral health is to practice good oral hygiene and schedule regular visits our expert team of highly Qualified & Experienced Dental Surgeons at Smile Up Dental Care & Implant Center,Kharadi,Pune to know more about your oral health, & how to meet your oral health needs. Call us today at 8237720741, 8237306651, 020-27041188,or visit our clinic at Shop No 14,Ground Floor,Gera Park View ,Opposite Gera Emerald North,Behind Ganga Constella,Near EON IT PARK, Kharadi,Pune -14 

To practice good oral hygiene:

  • Brush the teeth and gums for two minutes at least twice a day.
  • Floss the teeth daily.
  • Avoid smoking cigarettes or chewing tobacco products.
  • Use toothpaste and mouthwash products that contain fluoride.
  • Limit sugary foods and drinks.
  • Eat a well-balanced diet for optimum nutrition.

Healthy teeth are clean and free of pain caused by cavities and disease. Healthy gums are pink and do not bleed when brushed or flossed.

Oral health is an indicator of overall health. Taking care to prevent oral health problems like gingivitis and periodontal disease can go a long way toward decreasing the risk for more serious health problems throughout the body.

6 people found this helpful

Popular Questions & Answers

Want to know the best radiation technology available in India. Whether TrueBeam radiation machine is good for oral cancer treatment?

FHNS, MS ENT
Oncologist, Indore
Imrt and igrt are available at multiple centers. But its the site of disease according to which we can decide type of modality of radiation is best.
1 person found this helpful

I have been smoking and drinking for last 35 years. Who are the doctors who can check me up? What are the tests for oral cancer and lung cancer? Where these test can be done? I need to find if there is any problem in initial stage only. Thank you.

MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, MS - ENT
ENT Specialist, Trivandrum
First all All those who smoke need not get cancer and all those who have cancer need not be a smoker. It's just the people who has oral or lung cancer are mostly smokers. Hence don't worry about it. If you have any problems like Persisting oral ulcer or oral bleed, Breathing difficulties, Any swellings etc then you should consult a ENT specialist. You can get a flexible naso laryngoscopy done for visualizing you airway. You can also get an MRI done for further evaluation. A Doctor can suggest you whether you need to do these test or not.
1 person found this helpful

Muje 2 year pahle oral cancer ka operation kiya tha aor abhi me fit hu report normal he to kya me nicotine gum use kar sakta hu?

MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, Diploma In Medical Radio Therapy, DNB
Oncologist, Bangalore
Hi, If you stopped tobacco consumption, that's excellent and do maintain this. If you have withdrawal symptoms you can use nicotine gums but try avoid it also to nil by deviating your mind.

Hello sir good morning. I'm brijesh, I want to know. How to fight against radiation and chemotherapy? Coz I have oral CANCER and already done SURGERY. Thank you sir.

MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, Diploma In Medical Radio Therapy, DNB
Oncologist, Bangalore
Hi, it's not fight against radiotherapy and chemotherapy, it's go along with them. You need to fight against the cancer. During the above said treatments you will be regularly monitored by your Doctors for the toxicities and managed accordingly. Additionally you should be having a positive thoughts and hopes that you will successfully fight against the cancer and follow the instructions given to you by your doctors.
4 people found this helpful

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
Oral Cancer - Diagnosis & Treatment
Good Evening Everybody! Today, 27 July, is declared as an oral cancer day. So, it is mandatory, I talk a little bit about oral cancer or some cancers. So, let's discuss oral cancers. How does oral cancer present or what is it actually? An oral cancer is an abnormal growth which presents anywhere from lip to the tongue which may cause a gingiva or the oral cavity inside anywhere. How can you find that you have this problem? If you find a small growth anywhere like ulcer and swelling for let's say for 3 weeks. If you have difficulty in swallowing or change in voice or if you have difficulty in speaking, you must get worried about it and visit your nearest doctor to show what is it because we cannot take a chance. Moreover, if you a history of smoking, tobacco chewing or if you have any HPV infections, these all are the risk factors which we have to consider. Once you reach your doctor, we have to see exactly what is it. We have to investigate that. What do we need to do? We need to do a small biopsy of that region so that we can have the exact what kind or what is the disease. Whether it is an inflammatory disease or it is actually a cancerous disease. If it is an inflammatory disease, medicines can help. It can also lead to cancerous growth so that if cancer comes on biopsy, we need further investigation like CTO or MRI to look into the extent of the disease. So what we need to do for the treatment. Treatment can be surgical or it has to be radio or chemotherapy along with the other modalities depending upon your stage. Earlier we detect your region, the survival is better. And if one person survives better, the family survives better. So, prevention is always better than cure. How can you prevent these cancers? We all know that smoking is injuries to health. Just quit smoking. If you are an alcoholic, quit alcohol or take in low and moderate amount. Tobacco consumptions may be harmful. Avoid sun exposures and direct exposures to the areas like lips where again the regions can harm and can be cancerous. So, if we can help ourselves or anybody else who suffering from such a disease or anybody who can be prevented, so it will be good. Thank You!
Having issues? Consult a doctor for medical advice