Cancer is defined as the uncontrollable growth of cells that attack and cause damage to close tissues. Oral cancer refers to any type of cancer that can develop in any part that makes up your mouth. Oral Cancer can occur on Lips, Gums, Lateral border of tongue and floor of the mouth.
- Symptoms And Signs of Oral Cancer:
- A Lesion anywhere on your mouth.
- Swelling that continues for over 2 weeks or more.
- Usually red or red and white spots on the lining of the tongue.
- Mouth Ulcers that don’t heal.
- Sore Throat-The throat feels scratchy and painful.
- A lump or thickening of the lining of the mouth.
- Poorly fitting dentures.
- Jaw Pain.
- Difficulty chewing and swallowing.
- Bleeding from the mouth.
- Factors That Increase Your Risk of Mouth Cancer Are:
- An Untreated Lesion in your mouth.
- Family history- if anyone from your family was diagnosed with any type of cancer. It can also be a risk factor for having oral cancer.
- Heavy alcohol use.
- Use of any kind of tobacco – Cigarettes, pipes, snuffs, chewing tobacco and cigars.
- Excessive Sun Exposure to lips.
- Sexually transmitted virus termed human papillomavirus (HPV).
Stages of Oral Cancer
Oral Cancer is categorized in different stages. These different stages tell us how it should be treated.
Stage 1: The tumor has not reached the lymph nodes and is under 1 inch across.
Stage 2: The tumor has not reached the lymph nodes and is 1-2 inch in size.
Stage 3: The tumor is above 2 inches across but has not spread, or it has spread to one nearest lymph node.
Stage 4: The tumor affects the tissues around your mouth, lips, lymph nodes and spread to the rest of the body.
Diagnosis of Oral Cancer:
Your dentist is the first person to diagnose the signs of oral cancer. For the diagnosis, the dentist uses a technique called Biopsy. The biopsy is a technique to get a sample of cells from your body for laboratory testing. The biopsy is further divided into 3 types:
Brush Biopsy: This technique is used initially where cells are painlessly collected by brushing them to one side.
Fine Needle Biopsy: In this technique, a thin, hollow needle is attached to a syringe to take out a small volume of liquid and some small pieces of tissue from the tumor.
Core Biopsy: It is the process to remove a small amount of tissue from the tumor with a larger core needle. It is generally implemented while the patient is unconscious.
Treatment of Oral Cancer:
Treatment of oral cancer depends on the stage of the disease and the patient’s general health and personal preferences. Various types of treatments of oral cancer are Radiation Therapy, Chemotherapy, Drug- Centered therapy and Surgery.
Radiation Therapy-The radiation therapy technique uses rays of high-energy X-rays or radiation particles to harm the DNA inside the tumor cells, destroying their ability to reproduce. Radiation therapy can be used to treat if a patient is in the early stages of oral cancer.
Chemotherapy- The Chemotherapy technique involves using powerful medicines that damage the DNA of the cancer cells, deflating their ability to reproduce.
Targeted Drug Therapy- The Targeted drug therapy technique uses drugs known as monoclonal antibodies to change features of cancer cells that help them in growing.
Surgery- The surgery technique uses surgical elimination of cancer. An early tumor will require minor surgery, but for larger tumors, surgery may include eradicating some of the tongue or the jawbone depending on how much cancer has spread.
One Should Not take his/her oral health for granted. If you are having any of the above-mentioned signs. Book your appointment with the best dentists in town to get an affordable and quality treatment.