Everything You Need to Know About Oral Cancer

Everything You Need to Know About Oral Cancer

Cancer is one of the dreadful diseases and the instances of this deadly disease have increased over the time. There are different types of cancer and oral cancer is one of them. It has been observed that usually, oral cancer affects people above the age of 40 but there are many cases from the younger age group as well.

Oral cancer is a type of head and neck cancer that can happen anywhere in the mouth. Oral cancer includes the cancer of gums, lips, tongue, the floor of the mouth, cheek, and palate. If it is not diagnosed in time, it can lead to the person losing his/ her life. Also, statistics show that men are at an increased risk of cancer than women.

What are the Common Symptoms of Oral Cancer?

According to the dentist near 77381, the symptoms of oral cancer may be confusing as they can resemble any other health complication. You must consult a cancer specialist instead of self-diagnosing the condition and depending on the OTC medications. Some of the most common symptoms for detecting oral cancer are:

  • Unexplained swelling in the neck which doesn’t go away with normal means of treatment or medication.
  • An uncomfortable feeling of something being stuck in the mouth.
  • Patches in the oral cavity. The patches can be red or white
  • Unexplained bleeding in the mouth.
  • A lump in the mouth.
  • Facing difficulty while chewing and swallowing.
  • Sudden change in the voice.

Who Is at An Increased Risk of Oral Cancer?

According to the dentist near Shenandoah, TX, the following people are at an increased risk of oral cancer.

  • People who smoke are more likely to develop oral cancer. A study shows that smokers are almost 6 times more vulnerable to developing oral cancer than people who don’t smoke.
  • Chewing tobacco is also a bad habit which can put you at the risk of developing oral cancer. They are 50 times more likely to develop cancer of the cheeks, gums, and lining of the lips.
  • Alcohol consumption also increases the risk of developing oral cancer by six times. Limit your intake to avoid any kind of health hazards, explains the dentist near you in Shenandoah, TX.
  • Family history can also put you at the risk of developing the deadly disease.
  • HPV which is a sexually transmitted virus acts as a risk factor for oral cancer.

How Is the Diagnosis Done?

First of all, the dentist near you will ask you to get the biopsy done for primary diagnosis. A small sample will be extracted for diagnosis. Once the diagnosis of cancer has been done, you may need to undergo tests and examinations for finding out the stage of cancer. The tests may include:

  • PET scan
  • Endoscopy
  • CT scan
  • MRI scan
  • X-ray

Treatment Options for Oral Cancer

According to the Shenandoah dentist near you, just like any other type of cancer, if the oral cancer is diagnosed at an early stage, it is more likely to get treated. The type of treatment depends on the stage of cancer as well as its location in the mouth. The overall health of the patient is also considered while devising the treatment plan.

  • Surgery

It removes the tumor along with a small margin of tissue surrounding the tumor. While small tumors need minor surgery, the big tumors need a major surgery which may involve removing a part of the jaw bone or tongue. Laser and Robotic technology help in treating these types of tumors.

  • Radiation

The treatment involves the use of high-energy radiation particles and x-rays which are directly targeted on the affected area from outside the body.

  • Chemotherapy

It is one of the most common types of treatment options for cancer. It combines powerful medicines which can help in killing cancer cells within the body. In the case of oral cancer, chemotherapy consists of surgery and radiation.

  • Targeted Drug Therapy

As the name suggests, the targeted drug therapy aims at targeting the cancer cells with the help of monoclonal antibodies. They interfere with cell growth on a molecular level. The targeted drug therapy can be combined with other treatment options also as a part of a treatment plan for patients.