- 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.
- 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
- Non healing ulcer
- Mass anywhere in the mouth
- Dentures not fitting properly
- Pain or difficulty swallowing
- Lump in the neck
- Weight loss
- White or red patches in the mouth
- Restricted tongue mobility
Symptoms (depending on the site):
- 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.
- 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.
Imaging (CT/MRI/PET scan) is done: