Oral cancer, as the name suggests, is a malignancy that develops in the tissues of the mouth and/or the throat. It usually originates in the squamous epithelial cells present in the mouth, lips and tongue. It belongs to the larger group of cancers i.e. gastrointestinal cancer as well as ENT cancers. Oral cancer can originate on the lips, gums, tongue, roof of the mouth, under the tongue and inside the cheeks. Treatment for the same is offered by GI cancer surgeons in Delhi and South Delhi.
Symptoms of oral cancer
Here are a few early symptoms related to oral cancer, as suggested by the Onco surgeons in Delhi and South Delhi:
- Loosening of teeth
- Mouth Pain
- Pain in the ears
- Sores in the mouth that do not heal.
- Reddish or white patches inside the mouth.
- Difficulty with swallowing food
- Mass or lump in the mouth
- Well defined lump in the neck
- Unexplained weight loss
- Numbness in chin, neck and face.
Importance of proper diagnosis
If you are experiencing any of the above-mentioned symptoms, it does not necessarily mean that you have oral cancer. It is pertinent to first consult a doctor and get yourself assessed and evaluated for a confirmed diagnosis. Early diagnosis is the key to more effective treatment.
Doctors usually conduct a physical examination to determine any visible abnormality on the roof and floor of the mouth as well as in the throat, cheeks, and on the tongue. In case the doctor is unable to identify the problem, the patient is then referred to an ENT (ear, nose, and throat) specialist.
In case of any tumour, lesion or growth biopsy might be performed. In addition to this, other techniques might also be used, which include x-ray, CT- scan, PET scan, MRI scan and endoscopy.
Staging of oral cancer
There are four different stages of oral cancer depending on which the treatment varies. It is much easier to curb the disease in the initial stage. Hence it is important to recognize the symptoms and seek immediate medical help.
What increases the risks of oral cancer?
- Tobacco: Most cases of oral cancer are linked to the use of tobacco. All forms of tobacco increase the risks of oral cancer, which include cigarettes, cigars, pipes, bidis and smokeless tobacco. Few studies also suggest that second-hand smoking can also increase the risk of oral cancer.
- Alcohol:Alcohol addiction is a major risk factor related to oral cancer. The more a person drinks the greater are the chances of developing oral cancer.
- Betel quid: Commonly known as paan in certain Asian countries, it is one of the most common causes of oral cancer in India. Betel quid and tobacco are usually chewed together. It contains cancer-causing substances; which elevate the risks of developing cancer in the inner lining of the mouth.
- Family history:Doctors specializing in laparoscopic cancer surgery in Delhi and South Delhi suggest that people who have a family history of oral cancer also fall under the risk category. This means that if any of your close relatives have the problem, you are also likely to acquire it.
- Less intake of vegetables and fruits: Carotenoids found in vegetables and fruits have been found to alleviate the risks of cancer in people. The deficiency of these surely makes you more vulnerable to the problem.
- Weakened immune system: The immune system can weaken due to many reasons and in some cases, the problem might also be present since birth. People with lower immunity have higher chances of oral cancer and particularly lip cancer.