Health Desk – Cancer is such a disease, for which medical science has no definite cure yet and that is why people get scared by the very name of this disease. Although there are many types of cancer, but if there is any cancer which is very common, that is, the possibility of its occurrence is very high, then it is oral cancer.
Mouth cancer can occur in any part of the mouth, such as cheeks, jaws, gums etc. Broadly speaking, mouth cancer makes the area from the face to the throat its victim.
According to the American Cancer Society (ASCC), in the year 2019, about 53 thousand American citizens had oral cancer. Here the patient is diagnosed with cancer after the age of about 60 years, but 25 percent of the cases occur before the age of 50 years. This cancer affects less women and more men.
What is oral cancer?
Due to unhealthy lifestyle and excessive consumption of drugs, when any kind of hardness or lump starts emerging anywhere inside the mouth like tongue, cheek, jaw or molar, it is called oral cancer. Mouth cancer cannot be caused by any one reason, there are many reasons for it.
What is the cause of oral cancer?
When there is a mutation in the DNA of the cells of the lips or mouth, during this time many cells also die. The problem of tumor arises due to the meeting of many abnormal cells and it slowly starts turning into cancer. With the passage of time, it spreads throughout the mouth. Oral cancer usually starts in the thin cells that usually line the inside of the cheeks and lips.
According to experts, the chances of oral cancer increase manifold by smoking cigarettes, eating tobacco and consuming alcohol. Due to cancer, the body’s immune system is also not able to function properly.
What are the symptoms of oral cancer?
1. When white spots start appearing in the mouth and when these spots do not go away even after repeatedly washing the mouth or bathing, then it is called leukoplakia. This is an early symptom of oral cancer.
2. Sometimes suddenly white stripes appear on the face and red color is also visible in between them, it is called oral lichen planus and it is also an early symptom of mouth cancer.
3. Many people start seeing blister-like sores inside the mouth, but it does not mean at all that it is mouth cancer, but if changes are being experienced inside the mouth, then a doctor should be consulted about it. By doing this, cancer will be detected on time and proper treatment will be done.
4. If blood is coming out of the mouth, pain or any kind of numbness is felt inside the mouth, any hardness or lump is experienced then contact the doctor immediately.
5. Some other reasons for oral cancer have also been seen, such as- change in voice, difficulty in chewing and swallowing food, experiencing difficulty in moving jaw and tongue, etc.
What is the treatment for mouth cancer?
Medicines are enough for the initial stage of oral cancer. Oral cancer can be cured by the use of many medicines. These medicines stop the growth of cancer in the body, so that cancer does not spread to other organs.
2. Radiation therapy-
Radiation therapy has also been used at times. Through this therapy, an attempt is made to destroy cancer cells in the body.
Mouth cancer is also cured by biopsy surgery. Through this, the cancerous tissue in the body is separated.
In most cases of cancer, doctors adopt chemotherapy only. In this, the effort is to eliminate the cancer and cure it. It is used in almost every type of cancer, such as breast cancer, lung cancer, brain tumor etc.
5.General Cancer Surgery-
Cancer surgery is done when the patient does not get relief from any type of treatment. In this, the tumor and the tissue around it are removed by surgery.
What to do when cancer is detected?
The treatment of oral cancer is dependent on many circumstances. For its treatment, it is very important for the doctor to know many things, such as – where is the root of cancer, at what stage is the cancer at present and the last thing is what kind of cancer it is.
A doctor can reach a decision only after examining all these circumstances. By the way, most doctors recommend operation or surgery to eliminate cancer. Many other doctors also consider consultation of chemotherapy and radiation therapy appropriate for its treatment.
How to reduce the risk of mouth cancer?
There is no proven way to prevent oral cancer. However, you can reduce your risk of oral cancer if you:
- Stop or don’t start using tobacco. If you consume tobacco, stop it. If you don’t smoke tobacco, don’t start. Tobacco use, whether smoked or chewed, exposes the cells in your mouth to dangerous cancer-causing chemicals.
- Limit alcohol consumption, if not at all. Chronic excessive alcohol consumption can irritate the cells in your mouth, making them more vulnerable to oral cancer. If you choose to drink alcohol, do so in moderation. For healthy adults, that means up to one drink a day for women and men of all ages and over 65, and up to two drinks a day for men 65 and younger.
- Avoid excessive sun exposure on your lips. Protect the skin of your lips from the sun by staying in the shade when possible. Wear a wide-brimmed hat that effectively shades your entire face, including your mouth. Apply a sunscreen lip product as part of your regular sun protection regimen.
- See your dentist regularly. As part of a routine dental exam, ask your dentist to inspect your entire mouth for abnormal areas that may indicate oral cancer or precancerous changes.
How dangerous is oral cancer?
This cancer can prove to be fatal if not treated in the early stages.
When to see the doctor?
Make an appointment with your doctor or dentist if you have persistent signs and symptoms listed above that bother you and last longer than two weeks. Your doctor will probably first rule out other more common causes of your signs and symptoms, such as an infection.
Disclaimer: This article is for general information only. It cannot be a substitute for any medicine or treatment in any way. Always consult your doctor for more details.
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