There was a time when India had a negligible number of treatment centers for oral cancer. At present time, India has a lot of treatment centers for oral cancer. Most of the treatment centers have advanced machines. The advanced equipment has made oral cancer detection possible at an early stage.
What is Oral Cancer and what are its types?
Oral cancer or mouth cancer refers to cancer caused in the mouth. Oral cancer can occur on the roof and floor of the mouth, tongue, lips, and gums, and inside lining of the cheeks. Mouth cancer comes under the category of head and neck cancers. Types of oral cancer include buccal mucosa cancer (cancer affecting the inside of the cheeks), lip cancer, tongue cancer, gum cancer, salivary gland cancer, floor of the mouth and hard palate cancer (roof of the mouth cancer).
Symptoms of oral cancer
The symptoms of cancer include loose teeth, lumps or bumps on the lining of the mouth, thickening or swelling on the lips and other areas of mouth, a sore that doesn’t heal, tongue and ear pain, pain or stiffness in jaws, sore throat, difficulty in speaking, pain while chewing and swallowing food, poorly fitting false teeth, development of red or white patched in the mouth, a feeling that something is stuck in the throat and dramatic weight loss.
Cause and risk factors
Mouth cancer occurs when there is an unusual change (mutations) in the cells of lips, gums tongue etc. These changes result into formation of cancer cells after the healthy cells are dead. Factors that promote the growth of oral cancer include tobacco, alcohol, sun exposure and a sexually transmitted virus called human papillomavirus (HPV).
How to prevent or inhibit oral cancer?
Mouth cancer cannot be prevented. However, it is possible to slow down its growth by taking certain measures. In order to inhibit the growth of oral cancer, one should stop the consumption of alcohol and tobacco in any form. One should protect the skin of lips and rest of the face from excessive sun exposure by using sunscreen. You can also wear a hat or cover your face with a cotton cloth. Make sure to eat plenty of green vegetables, fruits and drink enough water to keep your body hydrated. In addition to this, maintain appointments with your dentist. In case of any doubt, your dentist can suggest a diagnosis for oral cancer detection.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Diagnosis of oral cancer includes tests like – biopsy, a barium swallow and meal test, mouth and throat examination, endoscopy and X-rays.
Treatment of oral cancer includes surgical and non-surgical procedures like – biological therapy, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy.