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What is Oral Cancer?

Cancer is the abnormal growth and uncontrolled multiplication of unwanted tissues. If such an abnormal growth of unwanted cancerous cells occur in the oral region, they are called oral cancers. Oral cancer can affect the lips, throat, cheeks, tongue region, palate, and gums.

How Oral Cancer is Caused?

Generally, oral cancer or mouth cancer is caused by such activities like smoking, chewing tobacco, gutkha, and paan. They are substances that are carcinogenic (materials that contain cancer-causing compounds) in nature.

HPV (Human Papilloma Virus), usually transmitted sexually are also said to cause mouth cancer. Mere infection of HPV need not cause mouth cancer or other forms of cancer. There are many who have been infected with HPV but lead a normal cancer-free life. Infection of HPV, however, increases the risk of cancer manifestation.

Signs of Oral Cancer

  • They appear as a painless mouth ulcer first that does not heal by itself.
  • Unusual lumps in the mouth that needs to be taken seriously.
  • A white or red patch in any oral area also needs to be taken seriously as they can also develop into cancer.
  • Restriction in mouth opening
  • Burning sensation in the mouth

If you find any of the above signs, visit your dentist immediately and rule out the presence of cancer. If your dentist suspects oral cancer and recommends taking a biopsy test to rule out cancer, do it immediately without any signs of hesitation. Because the key to cancer treatment is an early diagnosis.

Treatment of Oral Cancer

The treatment of oral cancer is a multidisciplinary approach where many professionals are involved. It involves dental surgeons, oncologists (cancer specialists, both radiation and chemotherapy), palliative care specialists and nutritionists.

The treatment begins by ascertaining the stage of oral cancer. The treatment would include surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. The aim of using all the three is to reduce the cancer cells in the oral region and prevent something called metastasis. Metastasis is the development of cancer cell in secondary region after the primary region has been treated for cancer.

Oral Cancer Treatment and Disfigurement of the Oral Region Post Treatment

The stage of cancer, the intensity of the treatment and the nature of the metastasis can determine how the oral region might be disfigured after the treatment. An intense treatment procedure results in disfigurement of the oral region which warrants post-treatment reconstruction of the oral region. Reconstruction of the oral area requires maxillofacial surgeries. The impact on the oral region due to the disfigurement caused also warrants that the patient gets related therapies like speech therapy, therapy for chewing food, swallowing food, etc.

Warning Note : Oral cancers spread very fast. They require immediate attention. Do not postpone your visit to your doctor or postpone your treatment once it has been diagnosed and confirmed for their presence.

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