Mouth cancer comes under the term, "cancers of the head and neck".
That is, mouth cancer is a type of head and neck cancer and is mostly treated the same way head, and neck cancers are treated. This cancer can occur anywhere in the mouth. Cancer that occurs inside the mouth is termed as oral cancer.
There are various treatments today are, of course, possible. But before going to the procedures, let us go through the symptoms. Some of the apparent symptoms are as follows:
- Red or white patches inside the mouth.
- The mouth ulcers that don't leave even after weeks.
- Pain when swallowing.
- Loose teeth with no apparent reason.
- Poorly fitting dentures.
- Jaw pain or stiffness.
- Ear pain.
- Changes in speech, such as a lisp.
These are only some of the primary symptoms that we have to watch out for in case of mouth cancers.
Mouth cancer is categorised by the type of cell cancer (carcinoma) begins with. Squamous cell carcinoma is the most heard mouth cancer, accounting for 9 out of 10 cases.
Usually, cancer results when a genetic mutation instructs cells to grow without restriction. The risk factors leading to mouth cancer are -
- Consumption of alcohol and tabacco.
- Excessive UV exposure
- Weak immune system
- The sexually transmitted virus is known as human papillomavirus (HPV).
- The prevention is quite obvious which is derived from the risk factors.
- To mention a few of them-
- Avoid tobacco and alcohol consumption
- Protect your skin and lip from extreme sun rays
- A regular visit to the dentist will help.
Diagnosis: A biopsy will be carried out where a small tissue is taken for examination. A 'brush biopsy' is sometimes used to collect the cells by brushing them to one side painlessly. Various imaging tests are sometimes considered to check the stage of cancer like X-ray, Computed Tomography (CT) scans, and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Staging cancer will inform treatment options and help predict prognosis.
Three main treatments will help get rid of mouth cancer.
Surgically removing the affected tissue and a margin of healthy tissues around it. A small tumour will require minor surgery, but for larger tumours, surgery may involve removing some of the tongue or the jawbone. This might significantly change the appearance of the face. Transplants and implants may be necessary.
It uses beams of high-energy X-rays or radiation particles to damage the DNA inside the tumour cells, destroying their ability to reproduce. Therefore, oral cancers are sensitive to radiation therapy. Radiation therapy may remove cancer if a patient is in the early stages of oral cancer.
Adverse effects of radiation therapy in the mouth include:
- tooth decay
- mouth sores
- bleeding gums
- jaw stiffness
- skin reactions, as with a burn
The treatment we all think of when someone says cancer, can also be used to treat oral cancers. Chemotherapy is the use of potent medicines that damage the DNA of the cancer cells, undermining their ability to reproduce.
Chemotherapy can sometimes damage healthy tissue and can also have a few side effects which usually leave when the treatment is over.
The following adverse effects may occur:
- hair loss
- the weakened immune system, increasing the risk of infection
Just like most cancers, Mouth Cancer also goes through four stages. Through every step, the risk of cancer spread increases.
The numbers for this particular cancer, when someone is diagnosed with stage 1 oral cancer, an 83% chance of surviving for longer than five years. Around 31% cases are diagnosed at this stage.
The people whose cancer spreads to other parts of the body, their chance of sustaining more than five years is only 38 per cent.
So, we can only hope for the better and still believe in prevention is better than cure. Visit a cancer hospital in Noida to treat your mouth Cancer.