Oral Cancer

request an appointment

Oral Cancer

What is Oral Cancer?

Oral cancer is a kind of cancer that develops in the tissues of the mouth or throat and can form in any part of the surrounding area. It belongs to a large group of cancers called head and neck cancers and mostly develops in the cells that are found in one’s mouth, tongue or lips. Oral cancers are often discovered once they have spread to the lymph nodes of the neck, and an early detection is one of the keys to surviving the disease.

What are the Types of Oral Cancers?

There are many types of oral cancers. A few of them include cancers of the:

  • Tongue
  • Lips
  • Gums
  • Cheek
  • Hard and soft palate
  • Floor of the mouth

Your dentist is usually the first healthcare provider to observe the signs of oral cancer.

What are the Symptoms of Oral Cancer?

A few of the symptoms of oral cancer may include:

  • A mass or growth anywhere in your mouth or throat
  • A sore on the lip or mouth that may not heal
  • Loose teeth
  • Bleeding from the mouth
  • Trouble wearing dentures
  • Pain or difficulty with swallowing
  • Lump in the neck
  • Numbness in the face, neck, lip or chin
  • Red, white or red and white patches in your mouth
  • Constant earache
  • Drastic weight loss
  • Pain in the tongue
  • Jaw pain or stiffness
  • A sore throat, hoarseness or change in voice

If you have noticed any of these symptoms that have been persistent for a while now, it is essential that you visit your dentist as soon as possible.

What Causes Oral Cancer?

Oral or mouth cancer occurs when the cells on your lips or in your mouth develop certain changes or mutations in their DNA. These mutations allow the cancer cells to continue to grow and divide when the healthy cells die. The accumulation or abnormal oral cancer cells can form a tumour and can spread inside the mouth or other areas of the head and neck over time. Oral cancers usually begin in the flat cells line the lips and the inner area of the mouth.

What are the Stages of Oral Cancer?

There are four known stages of oral cancer. While stage 1 and 2 involve a small tumour, stages 3 and 4 are the advanced stages of cancer. In first two stages, the cancer cells usually do not spread to the lymph nodes; while in the third and fourth stage, the tumours are larger and the cancer cells spread to the lymph nodes or the other parts of the body. However, it is essential to know that the survival rate for all stages of oral cancer is 81 percent after one year, 56 percent after five years and 41 percent after ten years. The earlier the diagnosis, the higher are the chances of survival post treatment. Thus, making timely diagnosis and treatment more important.

How to Treat Oral Cancer?

Oral cancer treatment varies depending on the type, area, and stage of cancer during diagnosis. The treatment for early stages often involves surgery, to remove the tumour and the cancerous lymph nodes. Besides, the other tissues around the mouth and neck may also be removed. There are various options available for to treat oral cancer. A few of them include:

  • Radiation Therapy: This procedure involves a doctor who aims radiation beams at the tumour once or twice a day, for five days in a week. This treatment goes on for about two to eight weeks. The treatment for advanced stages usually involves a combination of radiation and chemotherapy.
  • Chemotherapy: This treatment is one that kills the cancer cells with the use of drugs. The medicine is usually given to patients orally, or sometimes through and intravenous (IV). While most people get chemotherapy on an outpatient basis, some may require hospitalisation.
  • Nutrition: A healthy balanced diet and proper nutrition play an important part in the treatment for oral cancer. Most treatments make it painful for patients to eat or swallow, due to which poor appetite and weight loss are common. Therefore, it is essential to discuss your diet plan with your nutritionist who can help you plan your food menu. In this way, not only will the food be gentle on your mouth and throat but also will provide you with the required calories, minerals and vitamins.

How Can Dentistry Help Oral Cancer?

When it comes to oral cancer, creating awareness, discovery, diagnosis, referral and saving lives are primary responsibilities of a dentist. One of the most important ways to reduce death rates from oral cancers are its early discovery, and no other field has a better opportunity to have an impact on people as the field of dentistry. Thus, helping you with a timely detection and an ideal treatment.

Apollo Experience

At Apollo Clinic, we offer you with the best services and treatments for all your dental conditions. With a team of few of the best dentists in the country, who have enormous knowledge and experience in the field of dentistry, we aim at helping each of you with dental concerns. Here, we assure to help you tackle oral cancer and live a positive life. Also, helping you with all your post-treatment measures, enabling you to lead a normal and healthy life.

Our Patient's Testimonials