Oral cancer appears in the form of a tumor or ulcer that does not go away anywhere in the mouth, including the cheeks and gums. Here you will learn about all oral cancer, its diagnosis and causes, as well as the oral cancer treatment methods available in Turkey.
Early detection of tumors can lead to better treatment outcomes and may help prevent you or someone you love from becoming one of the 11,230 people who could die this year.
Where can oral cancer appear?
Oral cancer is divided into two categories, those that occur in the oral cavity and those that occur in the pharynx and the condition falls under the category of oral cancer andpharynx.
The oral cavity includes the lips, the lining of the cheek, the gums, the front of the tongue, the floor of the mouth below the tongue, and the hard palate that forms the roof of the mouth, while the pharynx includes the middle area of the throat including Tonsils The base of the tongue.
Who gets oral cancer?
according toAmerican Cancer Society Men face twice the risk of oral cancer than women, and men over 50 face the greatest risk.
Oral cancer causes
Happen or occur cancer When a genetic change in the body results in abnormal cell growth as these unwanted cells continue to grow over time, it forms a tumor that can migrate to other parts of the body.
considered about 90% One reliable source of oral cancer is squamous cell carcinoma. Cancer begins in these squamous cells that line the lips and inside the mouth.
Oral cancer risk factors
It is not yet known why these changes occur, but certain risk factors seem to increase the chance of developing oral cancer.
over there studies However, the following factors increase the risk:
- smoking fcigarette smokers Or cigars or pipes are six times more likely than non-smokers to develop oral cancer.
- Smokeless Tobacco Use Users of dipping, snuffing or chewing tobacco products are 50 times more likely to develop cancer of the gums, cheeks and lining of the lips.
- Excessive consumption of alcohol: Oral cancer is about six times more common among heavy drinkers than among non-drinkers, and both alcohol and tobacco use increases your chances.
- Family history of cancer.
- Excessive exposure to the sun, especially at a young age, can cause lip cancer.
- HPV human papilloma virus: Some strains of HPV are risk factorsOropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC)..
- Age: Oral cancer can take years to grow. In most cases, most people find that they have it after age 55, but a significant proportion of younger men develop HPV-related cancers.
- gender: Men are at least twice as likely to get oral cancer than women. This may be because men drink and smoke more than women.
- poor nutrition: Studies have found a link between oral cancer and not eating enough vegetables and fruits.
- Chewing betel nuts regularly is a common habit in parts of Southeast Asia.
- Previous history of head and neck cancer.
It is important to note that more than 25% of oral cancers occur in people who do not smoke and who only drink alcohol occasionally.
Other factors that may increase the risk of oral cancer include:
- gastroesophageal reflux disease GERD
- Previous radiotherapy to the head, neck, or both
- Exposure to certain chemicals, especially asbestos, sulfuric acid, and formaldehyde
- The presence of a long-term wound or chronic trauma, for example from a rough tooth
- Drinking very hot mate tea is popular in South America
Eating a healthy diet that includes plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables may reduce the risk of disease.
Oral cancer diagnosis
Your dentist will feel for any lumps or irregular tissue changes in the head, face, oral cavity and neck. On examining your mouth, your dentist will look for any sores or discolored tissue in addition to checking for any signs and symptoms listed above.
If a person develops symptoms that may indicate oral cancer, the doctor will:
- Ask about their symptoms
- Perform a physical examination
- Take personal and family medical history
If oral cancer is a possibility, a biopsy may also be recommended. A small sample of tissue is taken to check for cancer and determine the composition of the suspicious area. There are different types of biopsies and your doctor can decide which is best.
This may be a brush biopsy in which a sample of cells from the oral tissue is painlessly collected using a special brush. Many clinicians do not use the method of brush biopsies because while it is very easy they will probably need a scalpel biopsy to confirm the results if the brush biopsy is positive.
There are also different types of exploratory and excisional scalpel biopsies, depending on whether the condition requires only a small sample or the entire area to determine the nature of the problem. Some doctors also perform these biopsies using laser.
If the biopsy reveals mouth cancer, the next task is to determine the stage.
Cancer stage tests include:
- Endoscopy: A doctor passes a thin tube with a light and a small camera down a person's throat to see if the cancer has spread and, if so, to what extent.
- Imaging tests: X-rays will show for the lungs For example whether the cancer has reached that area.
Symptoms of oral cancer
There are often no signs or symptoms of oral cancer in its early stages.
Your dentist may be able to detect signs and symptoms at an early stage so they should be checked out smokers And heavy drinkers have regular appointments with the dentist because tobacco and alcohol are risk factors for oral cancer.
All conditions that can eventually develop into oral cancer include:
- leukoplakia: The appearance of white spots in the mouth that do not disappear when a person rubs them.
- Oral lichen planus: It has areas of white stripes bordered in red with the possibility of ulceration.
Not every oral lesion or ulcer is cancerous, but many can develop into cancer, so it is important to talk to a doctor about any changes in the mouth.
Monitoring changes may help detect cancer in its early stages, when treatment is easier.
After progression to cancer
If the lesion develops into cancer, the patient may notice the following:
- Patches on the lining of the mouth or tongue that are usually red or red and white
- Bleeding, pain or numbness in the mouth
- Persistent sores on the face, neck or mouth that bleed easily and do not heal within two weeks
- A lump or thickening in the gums or the lining of the mouth
- Teeth loosening for no apparent reason
- jaw swelling
- Chronic sore throat or feeling that something is stuck in the throat
- Hoarseness or change in voice
- Difficulty chewing, swallowing, speaking, or moving the jaw or tongue
- A change in the way your teeth align or dentures together
- Significant weight loss
It should be noted that the presence of any of these symptoms does not mean that the patient has oral cancer, but it is worth seeing a doctor.
Oral cancer stages
This indicates how widespread cancer In the body, in the early stage there are pre-cancerous cells that can eventually become cancerous. We call this stage 0 cancer or in situ cancer. Your doctor will watch for changes at this stage.
- Stage I The cancer is localized, affecting one area and has not spread to other tissues.
- Stage II The regional cancer has spread to nearby tissues.
- Stage III distant cancer has spread to other parts of the body, including the lungs or liver.
Oral cancer may start in one part of the mouth only and then, if left untreated, spread to other parts of the mouth. It may also spread to the head, neck, and the rest of the body.
The patient's treatment options and outlook depend to some extent on the stage of the cancer.
Oral cancer treatment
Oral cancer treatment depends on:
- Cancer size
- The location, stage, and type of cancer
- The patient's general health and ability to recover from surgery, radiotherapy, or Chemotherapy
- personal preferences
- How treatment will affect appearance and function such as speech and the ability to chew and swallow
There are many methods available to treat oral cancer as we will mention them here.
Surgical treatment of oral cancer
The surgeon removes the tumor by performing an operation with minor removal of the healthy tissue around it. The surgery may involve the surgeon removing and removing:
- parts of the tongue
- jaw bone
- lymph nodes
If the procedure significantly changes a patient's appearance or ability to talk or eat, they may need reconstructive or cosmetic surgery.
Oral cancer radiotherapy
Oral cancers are sensitive to radiation therapy. In this treatment, beams of high-energy X-rays or radiation particles are used to destroy the DNA in tumor cells, killing their ability to multiply.
Oral cancer treatment with external beam radiation
A machine that targets the affected area with beams of radiation.
Radioactive needles are used to deliver radiation to the tumor inside the body. Doctors may recommend this to people with early-stage tongue cancer.
Oral radiation therapy may have many adverse effects, including:
- tooth decay
- mouth ulcers
- bleeding gums
- jaw stiffness
- Skin reactions such as burns
Treatments are likely to be most effective in a patient who does not smoke or who has already quit.
Oral cancer treatment for stage 1 oral cancer may depend on radiation therapy alone, but the doctor can recommend combining it with other treatments to reduce the risk of cancer developing or recurring.
Oral cancer chemotherapy
If the cancer has spread, the doctor may recommend a combination of Chemotherapy Radiation therapy. Chemotherapy involves the use of powerful drugs that destroy the DNA of cancer cells. These drugs limit the cells' ability to multiply and spread.
The drugs used in chemotherapy destroy cancer cells, but sometimes they also damage healthy tissue. This can lead to many harmful effects. These effects may include:
- Vomiting and nausea
- hair loss
- Weakened immune system and increased risk of infection
These effects usually disappear after a person finishes treatment, find out more about cancer chemotherapy in Turkey Here.
Oral cancer treatment with hyperthermia
In this emerging technique, the doctor heats the area above normal temperature to damage and kill tumor cells.
It can also perform a method heat therapy These increase the sensitivity of neoplastic cells to radiotherapy.
Oral cancer treatment complications
Oral cancer and its treatment can lead to a range of complications and symptoms. Complications after surgery include the risks of:
- Difficulty eating and swallowing
In addition, long-term problems may include:
- Carotid stenosis: It can result from radiation therapy and may lead to cardiovascular problems.
- Dental problems: These problems can sometimes occur if surgery changes the shape of the mouth and jaw.
- Dysphagia or difficulty swallowing: This can make it difficult to eat and may increase the risk of food inhalation and subsequent infections.
- Speech problems: Postoperative changes in the tongue and lips can affect speech.
- Mental health problems: Depression, irritability, frustration, and anxiety may arise.
Oral cancer patient alert
The outlook for a person with oral cancer depends on the spread of the cancer and where it occurred in the mouth in addition to other factors. Apart from the stage of the oral cancer, there are factors that affect the chance of recovery, such as:
- Public Health
- The type and stage of the cancer tumor, with some types being more aggressive than others
- Therapeutic options that have been applied to treat oral cancer
How can a dentist help detect oral cancer early?
During your regular checkup, your dentist will ask you about changes in your medical history and whether you're experiencing new or unusual symptoms.
Then your dentist will examine your oral cavity, including your lips, the lining of your cheek, your gums, the anterior part of your tongue, the floor of your mouth, and the roof of your mouth. Your dentist will also examine your throat (pharynx) in the soft part of the roof of your mouth, including your tonsils, the back of your tongue, and where your tongue attaches to the bottom of your mouth. The dentist will then feel your jaw and neck for tumors and any lumps or abnormalities.
What happens if the dentist finds something suspicious?
Your dentist will not be able to tell if what he is looking for is cancerous. To make a diagnosis, he may ask you for a test. Your dentist may also re-examine you after a week or two to see if the suspected sore site has healed on its own before recommending additional follow-up. .
You and your dentist can discuss the best strategy for diagnosing, preventing and treating oral cancer together.
What can you do to prevent oral cancer?
Scientists believe that oral cancer begins when DNA is damaged in cells in the mouth, but certain conditions, including your health habits, can make you more susceptible to it. To reduce the risk of developing oral cancer, people should:
- to avoid Tobacco Consumption or use any form of tobacco product
- Avoid drinking alcohol
- Eat a balanced diet
- Avoid chewing betel nut
- Have a regular dental exam
- Minimize your exposure to the sun. Frequent exposure increases the risk of lip cancer, especially the lower lip. When you are in the sun, use UVA/B sunscreens on your skin as well as on your lips.
You can also take an active role in early detection of oral cancer if it occurs by doing the following:
Do a self-examination at least once a month using a bright light and a mirror Look and feel your lips and gums, tilt your head back and look and feel the roof of your mouth.
Pull back your cheeks to view the inside of your mouth, the lining of your cheeks and the back gums. Pull back your tongue and look at all surfaces and check the floor of your mouth and look at the back of your throat.
Feel for lumps or swollen lymph nodes in the sides of your neck and under your lower jaw. Call your dentist right away if you notice any changes in the appearance of your mouth or any of the signs and symptoms listed above.
See your dentist on a regular schedule, even if you do frequent self-exams, sometimes serious spots or sores in the mouth are too small to see on your own, she recommends. American Cancer Society Oral cancer screenings should be followed every 3 years for people over the age of 20 and annually for those over the age of 40.
During your next dental appointment, ask your dentist for an oral examination. Early detection of disease can improve the chance of successful treatment.