ORAL CANCER

Description

 Tumourdevelops on the surface of the tongue, mouth, lips or gums.Most develop in the squamous cells.

Types

  • oral malignant melanoma – where the cancer starts in cells called melanocytes, which help give skin its colour
  • adenocarcinomas – cancers that develop inside the salivary glands
  • cancer of lips,tongue,cheek,gums,floor of the mouth, palate

Symptoms

  1. red or white patches in the mouth or throat
  2. ulcers
  3. persistent pain in the mouth
  4. pain or difficulty when swallowing
  5. changes in your voice, or speech problems
  6. swollen lymph nodes (glands) in your neck
  7. bleeding or numbness in the mouth
  8. a tooth, or teeth, that becomes loose for no obvious reason
  9. difficulty moving your jaw
  10. trouble wearing dentures
  11. dramatic weight loss
  12. sore that doesn’t heal

Causes

  1. alcohol and smoking
  2. the cancer can spread out of the mouth and into nearby tissues
  3. spreading via lymphatic system

Risk Factors

  • Tobacco use of any kind, including cigarettes, cigars, pipes, chewing tobacco and snuff, among others
  • Heavy alcohol use
  • Excessive sun exposure to your lips
  • A sexually transmitted virus called human papillomavirus (HPV)
  • A weakened immune system
  • chronic facial sun exposure
  • a previous diagnosis of oral cancer
  • a family history of oral or other types of cancer
  • being male
  • poor oral hygiene
  • a poor diet

Diagnostic Tests

  • Physical exam
  • biopsy
  • CT, PET, MRI, Endoscopy
  • Fine needle aspiration (FNA)
  • Panendoscopy

Treatments

  •  surgery
  • chemotherapy
  • radiation therapy
  • targeted drug therapy
  • Massage therapy.
  • Acupuncture
  • Photodynamic therapy (PDT)

Medications

Cetuximab

Lifestyle Management

  • allowing you time off for treatment and medical appointments
  • allowing flexibility with working hours, the tasks you have to perform or your working environment
  • Make sure to follow up with your dentist or oncologist
  • Quit using tobacco
  • Quit drinking alcohol
  • Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables
  • Avoid excessive sun exposure to your lips