Mouth cancer, also known as oral cancer, generally classified as head and neck cancer, starts in the region of the mouth and its surrounding areas. This blog will talk about general information relating to mouth cancer; location, causes, symptoms and treatments.

Mouth cancers can develop in/on:

  • Lip
  • Tongue
  • Floor of the mouth
  • Cheek
  • Gum
  • Salivary glands

Symptoms

Symptoms of mouth cancer includes:

  • Lump in the neck
  • Loose teeth
  • Sore lip
  • Bleeding or numbness
  • Loose teeth
  • Red and white patches in the mouth
  • Difficulty chewing and swallowing
  • Speech issues
  • Unexplained weight loss

Causes:

Several reasons can add up to the risk of developing mouth cancer. Some common causes are listed below:

  • Tobacco use
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Family history of mouth cancer
  • Human Papillomavirus
  • Excessive sun exposure
  • Chewing of betel nuts

Diagnosis:

If you experience persistent and severe symptoms that do not go with time. You might need to get it diagnosed by your dentist or other medical professionals.

Signs of mouth cancer can be visible to a dentist after a thorough mouth and throat examination. However, the patient may be referred to some tests to gauge the accuracy, nature and severity of the issue. Some diagnosis options may include:

  • Endoscopy:
    A flexible tube that has a camera attached on one end is put into the mouth to examine the inner oral areas; larynx, sinuses, pharynx etc.
  • Biopsy:
    A biopsy is a process of giving a tissue specimen to determine the presence of cancer cells.
  • X-rays:
    X-rays can be used to examine any abnormality or severity of lumps in the mouth or neck area.
  • Scan:
    Used to determine the location, stage and spread of the cancer cells.

Treatment

Treatment options depend on its type, location and severity of the cancer. Some are listed below:

  • Staging:
    Staging involves steps that include imaging tests like CT and MRI to create a suitable treatment plan as per patients condition.
  • Surgery:
    Early stages of mouth cancer can be catered with surgeries that involve removal of tumors.
  • Radiation Therapy:
    Radiation therapy can be monitored to treat moderate cases of cancer. This can be administered with chemotherapy alongside.
  • Chemotherapy:
    Chemotherapy uses a drug to kill or shrink and kill cancer tumor cells. This is a standardized treatment which is administered under an expert oncologist
  • Palliative Care:
    If the cancer has bypassed the stages of cure and recovery, palliative care is another medical treatment that helps in managing the side effects of cancer, ultimately improving patients’ quality of life.

Conclusive Remarks

Oral cancer is a commonly occurring form of cancer. Thus, it is important to maintain good oral hygiene and avoid use of tobacco and alcohol.
However, it is not something one can voluntarily control. If you are experiencing any of the given symptoms, Consult a general physician at San Ramon Urgent Care for appropriate, immediate and accurate medical guidance.

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