The first sign of oral cancer is the development of a persistent sore or growth inside the mouth. Every year in India, about 70,000 persons, mostly men (70%), are diagnosed with oral cancer. Lip, tongue, cheek, and gum cancers, as well as the hard and soft palate, sinus, and pharynx (throat) cancers, all fall under the umbrella term “oral cancer.” A lack of prompt diagnosis and treatment might be fatal.
Oral cancer is more manageable for doctors to treat if detected at an early stage. However, most patients are first diagnosed when it is too late to cure their ailment adequately. You will have a greater chance of receiving an early diagnosis if you maintain routine dental and medical checkups and educate yourself on how to recognize any changes that may indicate disease.
The major mouth cancer symptoms can include:
- A lump, painful, irritated area, thick patch, or sore throat.
- Your mouth develops a white or red spot.
- throat discomfort or the sensation that something is stuck in your throat
- Difficulty chewing, swallowing, or speaking.
- Difficulty moving your jaw or tongue.
- Dentures that don’t fit well or are unpleasant due to jaw swelling.
- Your tongue or other parts of your mouth may feel numb.
- Ear pain.
The significant types of oral cancer:
Lip cancer, the most common form of oral cancer, typically strikes men. Basal cells and squamous cells are the two categories that make up this skin. The most common type of lip cancer arises in squamous cells, which are the thin, flat cells that line the lips and mouth.
Rarely does cancer begin in the jaw. Odontogenic tumours, sometimes known as cysts or growths, can occasionally develop in the jaw area, but they are often benign growths (noncancerous). There are various causes of mouth cancer that might lead to the condition, but the most significant is unhealthy life habits.
If you are experiencing any mouth pain, sores, or changes in your oral health, please schedule an appointment with your maxillofacial oral surgeon right away. Early detection is key to the successful treatment of oral cancer.
Habits to avoid in case of orofacial cancer:
Quitting the habit of alcohol:
You might have been an excessive drinker, which is one of the reasons you might have been diagnosed with orofacial cancer. Generally, for people diagnosed with oral cancer, it is mandatory to quit the habit, as even when taken in small amounts can worsen the condition. This habit can also help speed up treatment and show effective results.
Steer clear the habit of smoking:
Smoking is the most common lifestyle among 80-90% of people with orofacial cancers. Though it is usually picked as a normal habit, it can cause some serious effects. Smoking is not only connected to cancers but also the major reason for different health illnesses. Researchers also state that quitting smoking can reduce the risk of orofacial cancers.
Limiting exposure to the sun:
Protecting our lips from the sun is just as important as protecting the rest of our skin from the harmful effects of UV rays. The chance of developing lip cancer, particularly on the lower lip, is increased by prolonged exposure to UV light. When you go outside in the sun, protecting your lips with sun protection that blocks UV-A and UV-B rays may help reduce your risk of developing lip cancer.
Avoid chewing tobacco:
People who smoke tobacco have an increased risk of getting oral cavity malignancies ranging from five to twenty-five times higher. Chewing tobacco is a dangerous habit that should be kicked immediately because of the significant risk of getting mouth cancer.
Quit the habit of chewing betel nuts or paan:
Chewing betel nuts is the primary factor in the development of oral cavity cancer among Indians. Be sure not to masticate raw betel nuts or those processed (pan masala). Paan is a concoction that might include tobacco or not and is produced by combining areca nuts and betel leaves. It has been discovered to raise one’s chances of developing mouth cancer.
Ensure to maintain good oral hygiene:
The minimum recommended frequency for brushing and flossing is twice a day. A dirty mouth is a fertile breeding place for bacteria and diseases. A dirty mouth significantly weakens your body’s defenses against cancer and other harmful diseases.
What are the best options involved in oral cancer treatment?
The major treatment options include oral cancer surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy, but they might also rely on the specific form of cancer and its stage upon diagnosis.
Drugs in this therapy work by directly attacking cancer cells. You will receive the drugs either orally or intravenously. Chemotherapy can be administered to the vast majority of patients without hospitalization.
One method of effective treatment for cancer at any stage is targeted therapy. It has medicine that will inhibit the growth of your cancer cells regardless of whether or not they express a certain protein. That’s why there are fewer negative reactions to this medication.
Oral cancer surgery:
Most patients diagnosed with oral cancer will undergo surgery as their primary course of treatment. These tumours are typically accessible through the mouth’s natural orifice, but in rare cases, a more thorough procedure may be necessary. Your tumor’s size, stage, and location will determine which surgical option is best for you. Expert surgeons generally perform this procedure at an oral surgery hospital.
Orofacial cancers are majorly caused in men than in women. Everyone should be aware of what can increase the risk of cancer. Maintaining a hygienic lifestyle can help reduce the risk and aid the treatment process to give effective results. Seeking early diagnosis and treatment from Top Oral And Maxillofacial Surgeons In Coimbatore can help you find treatment at an early stage, avoiding complications.