ORAL CANCER

ORAL CANCER

  •   Cancer that develops in the mouth.
  •  May involve the lips, gums, floor of mouth, tongue, mucosa of the cheek, hard or soft palate or any other structure which is a part of the mouth.

    Risk factors:

  •  Tobacco use
  •  Consumption of alcohol
  •   Infection with human papilloma virus
  •  Family history
  •  Immunodeficiency states
  •  Repeated trauma to one particular spot in the oral cavity such as loose dentures, sharp tooth, repeated tongue bites
  •  Spices

    Symptoms (depending on the site):

  •  Non healing ulcer
  •  Mass anywhere in the mouth
  •  Bleeding
  •  Dentures not fitting properly
  •  Earache
  •  Pain or difficulty swallowing
  •   Lump in the neck
  •   Weight loss
  •  White or red patches in the mouth
  •  Restricted tongue mobility

    Management:

  •   A complete examination of the oral cavity, possibly along with direct laryngoscopy, esophagoscopy and bronchoscopy to assess the extent of disease and examine the throat, food pipe and airway respectively
  •  Examination of the neck is done to check for any mass or swelling.
  •  If a suspicious growth is identified in the oral cavity, a biopsy is taken to confirm the presence of cancerous cells and the type of cells.
  • Imaging (CT/MRI/PET scan) is done:

  •  To assess the size and depth of the growth
  •  To identify involvement of surrounding structures
  •  Further treatment depends on the stage of disease and its extent, type of cancer and location of the growth
  •  Surgery: excision of the growth along with some surrounding tissue and removal of nodes in the neck. Reconstruction and rehabilitation play a significant role in the surgery of oral cancers to reduce post operative morbidity
  •  Radiation therapy, chemotherapy or a combination of both may be done in cases where surgery is not possible.
  •  Outcome of the treatment depends on the type of cancer and stage of disease, along with patient factors such as age, comorbidities, your general health.