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What you need to know about Oral Cancer

Oral Cancer is a form of cancer that impacts the mouth and throat. It is a serious condition that requires immediate treatment. Everything you need to know about oral cancer, including its causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment, will be covered in this blog curated meticulously by our experts in head and neck cancer treatment in Gurugram.

Oral Cancer causes

Oral Cancer is one of the most preventable cancers, just by modifying lifestyle and preventing addictions. Adding to that, more than 50% of all oral cancer cases can be prevented by tobacco and alcohol abstinence.

Several factors can contribute to oral cancer development. The following are the most typical causes of oral cancer:

  • Use of tobacco - The main causes of oral cancer include smoking and chewing tobacco. Tobacco includes dangerous chemicals that can injure throat and mouth cells and cause cancer.
  • Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol can raise your risk of getting mouth cancer. Alcohol can harm throat and mouth cells, increasing their susceptibility to malignant alterations. The sexually transmitted human papillomavirus (HPV) can cause oral cancer. It is more common in men than in women.
  • Exposure to the sun for an extended period of time can raise the risk of acquiring lip cancer.

Oral Cancer symptoms

Oral Cancer can be challenging to find in the early stages. However, there are a few common symptoms and signs that may indicate oral cancer. These consist of:

  • Oral ulcers or sores that do not heal.
  • A prolonged sore throat or swallowing issues.
  • Thickening or a lump in the throat or mouth.
  • Patches of red or white on the tongue, gums, or mouth lining.
  • Numbness or pain in the throat or mouth.

Detection of Oral cancer

If you encounter any of the symptoms mentioned above, you should visit your doctor for a checkup. Your mouth and throat will be thoroughly examined, and they may suggest certain tests to determine whether oral cancer is present. These tests could consist of:

  • Biopsy: To check for the presence of cancer, a small sample of tissue from the afflicted area is taken and examined under a microscope.
  • Imaging techniques including X-rays, CT scans, and MRI scans may be used to determine the size of the cancer and whether it has spread to other areas of the body.
  • Endoscopy is the process of looking into the mouth and throat using a small, flexible tube with a camera on the end.

Oral Cancer Treatment

Treatment for oral cancer depends on a number of factors, such as the disease's stage, the location of the tumour, and the patient's overall health.

The most frequent form of treatment for mouth cancer is surgery. The surgeon will cut off the tumour and any surrounding tissue to prevent the cancer from spreading. High-energy radiation is used in radiation treatment to eliminate cancer cells. In the treatment of oral cancer, it is frequently combined with surgery. Oncoplastic reconstruction surgery is used to fill the defects where tissues from the body are harvested and put into surgical defects.

Drugs are used in chemotherapy to kill cancer cells. To treat oral cancer in its later stages, radiation therapy is frequently combined with it.

Targeted therapy: Drugs that specifically target proteins or genes involved in the growth and spread of cancer cells are used in targeted therapy.

Prevention of Oral Cancer

As per the experts from the best cancer hospital in India, developing good habits and eliminating risk factors can help prevent oral cancer. The following advice can help avoid oral cancer:

  • Avoid using Tobacco - Oral cancer risk is increased by smoking and chewing tobacco. The risk of oral cancer can be considerably decreased by quitting smoking and avoiding tobacco products.
  • Moderate alcohol use lowers the risk of mouth cancer compared to heavy drinking. The likelihood of acquiring oral cancer can be decreased by limiting alcohol use.
  • Use safe sexual practices because the sexually transmitted virus HPV can lead to mouth cancer. The chance of acquiring oral cancer can be decreased by engaging in safe sexual behaviour and receiving an HPV vaccination.
  • Sun exposure for an extended period of time might raise the risk of developing lip cancer, therefore protect your lips. Use a lip balm with an SPF of at least 30 to protect your lips from the sun, and cover your face and neck with a hat while going out in the sun.
  • Maintain good oral hygiene - By keeping your mouth healthy and spotting any anomalies early on, regular brushing, flossing, and dental exams can help avoid oral cancer.
  • Eat a balanced diet to lower your risk of oral cancer. A diet high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can help.
  • Know your risk factors - You can take precautions against oral cancer by being aware of your risk factors. If you have a family history of mouth cancer or have been exposed to particular chemicals or radiation, talk to your doctor about ways to reduce your risk.

To sum up, oral cancer is a serious ailment that needs to be treated on priority. Understanding the causes, signs, and preventive measures will help lower the likelihood of having oral cancer. If you experience any signs of oral cancer, such as mouth sores or ulcers or trouble swallowing, get in touch with a cancer doctor in Gurugram right away. The likelihood of a successful recovery can be significantly increased by early detection and treatment.

Dr. Archit Pandit, Director & Head of the Department

Surgical Oncology

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