Oral cancer is one of the many forms of cancer that occur in the body. Oral cancer develops in the parts that make up the mouth like lips, gums, tongue, the inner lining of cheeks, roof and floor of the mouth, salivary glands as well as tonsils. Oral cancer is most likely to be diagnosed in people who have crossed the age of 40. Men carry the risk of having oral cancer twice to that of women.
Oral cancer occurs in the mouth as a result of mutations in the DNA of the cells present in the mouth. These cells, after mutating become dysfunctional, thereby multiplying at a rapid rate, killing the healthy cells and doing severe harm to the body. When these abnormal cells accumulate, they give rise to a tumor, which expands and becomes cancer.
Oral cancer most commonly begins from the thin and flat cells which are known as squamous cells. These squamous cells give a lining to the lips and the inside of your mouth. Most oral cancers are actually squamous cell carcinomas.
Although the exact reason for the mutations in the cells of the mouth has not been, several risk factors of oral cancer have known to be found. Although the exact reason for the mutations in the cells of the mouth has not been, several risk factors of oral cancer have known to be found. They are:
●Consumptions of tobacco through cigarettes, pipes, cigars, chewing tobacco
●Excessive alcohol consumptions
●Lips being excessively exposed to the sun
●A sexually transmitted virus called human papillomavirus (HPV)
●Weak immunity system
●A previous history of oral cancer
●A family history of oral or other types of cancer
●Being a male, as males have a higher risk of developing oral cancer
The onset of oral cancer can bring with it early signs of oral cancer, ranging from mild to severe, which is diagnosed early, can lead to the prevention of the spreading of cancer. The symptoms of oral cancer are:
●Failure in the healing of mouth sore
●A thick lump or thickened skin around the lining of your mouth
●Loose teeth and gums
●Badly fitted dentures
●Swollen tongue leading to pain
●Pain or stiffness in the jaw
●Difficulty or pain in chewing
●Difficult or painful swallowing due to lump in the throat
●dramatic weight loss
●white, red and white, or red patches in or on your mouth or lips
Once you realize you possess symptoms of oral cancer, you should consult a doctor as soon as possible. The doctor will carry out a physical examination to asses and closely looks at the roof and floor of your mouth, tongue, the back of your throat, cheeks and the lymph nodes in your neck.
To confirm the presence of oral cancer, the doctor may carry out the following tests:
●X-ray test to identify the cancer cells and see if they have spread to the jaw, chest, or lungs
●CT scan to show the presence of tumors in the organs like mouth, neck, lungs, throat or any other part.
●PET scan to assess if the cancer cells have spread out to lymph nodes or other organs
●MRI scan to determine the extent or stage of the cancer
●Endoscopy to determine the presence of tumor in the nasal passages, sinuses, inner throat, windpipe.
There are several kinds of oral cancer treatment that are present which are chosen, alone or in combination. They depend on the type, stage of breast cancer, age, personal preferences and sensitivity towards certain hormones. Here are the most common forms of oral cancer treatment that are either in the form of oral cancer surgery or radiotherapy or chemotherapy.
●Oral Cancer Surgery: In the Oral cancer surgery, the doctor takes the tumor out of your mouth when the surgeon removes the cancer cells surgically through medical instruments.
●Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy is another common form of oral cancer treatment which is done over several weeks via administration of drugs via several kinds of injections to kill the cancer cells: drugs intravenously (IV), intra-arterially (IA), or via intraperitoneal (IP).
●Targeted Chemotherapy: Unlike traditional chemotherapy, these drugs are used to selectively treat the affected area, thereby causing lesser damage to other parts of the system. Advanced medications can now directly target specific functions in cancer cells.
●Radiation Therapy: Radiation therapy is an Oral cancer treatment that is widely used to treat inoperable tumor cells. Radiation Therapy consists of X-rays or even stronger waves like the Ultra-violet (UV) rays. In some cases, chemotherapy is coupled with radiation therapy for a more effective ovarian cancer treatment.
●Nutrition: This is the simplest kind of oral cancer treatment where nutrition, where the doctor may prescribe a proper diet to avoid foods which carry risk factors of promoting oral cancer.
Oral Cancer Treatment Recovery / Side effects of Oral Cancer Treatment
Post the oral cancer treatment, due to exposure to aggressive treatment options, the body can take a while to build its immunity and recover fully leading back to normal life.
There can mild to severe side effects of oral cancer treatment that can include:
●bleeding of mouth
●Dry or burning skin