ABOUT Oral Cavity Cancer - Causes, Prevention and Treatment
What is Oral Cavity Cancer?
Oral cavity cancer is a type of cancer that starts in the mucosal tissue, lining, and underlying membrane of the mouth. Cancer cells can spread to lymph nodes under the tongue which can then spread to other parts of the body via the bloodstream. Some oral cavity cancers may also be found in teeth or gums. The most common types are squamous cell carcinoma, basal cell carcinoma, lichen planus.
What are the Symptoms of Oral Cavity Cancer?
· Unexplained weight loss
· Chronic fatigue
· Nausea, vomiting, or indigestion
· Abnormal bleeding or discharge on the lips or in between teeth
· Sores on the gums, cheeks, tongue, throat, the roof of the mouth
· Lumps in the neck
· Persistent sores that won't heal.
The list above is the most common signs and symptoms of oral cavity cancer. If you notice any of these signs speak to your doctor immediately. The sooner you catch oral cavity cancer at its early stages the better! Oral cavity cancer is often more curable than cancers that have had more time to spread.
How can I Prevent Oral Cavity Cancer?
The best way to prevent oral cavity cancer is not to have it in the first place. To prevent it, you should get regular screenings for it at least once a year. Other preventive measures people can take are smoking cessation, a healthy diet, avoiding heavy use of alcohol and tobacco products, maintaining health through regular checkups by your dentist/periodontist.
What are the Treatment Options for Oral Cavity Cancer?
Treatment options include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or immunotherapy chemotherapy.
Of these, surgery is the most common and is performed both to remove cancerous tissue while preserving or restoring normal tissue. The surgical approach can also include local excision, which involves removing only the affected area, curettage, which involves using a liquid to remove the cancer cells, laser ablation, in which only the area of the tumor is treated with an Nd: YAG laser.
Radiation therapy can be used on some cancers that are close enough to sensitive tissues or organs. Radiation therapy can be applied in any stage of development; however, it may increase the risk of developing another cancer in this type of cancer.
Chemotherapy is used in most cases of oral cavity cancer. It is used to kill cancer cells. There are many types of oral cavity cancer chemotherapies on the market today. These are generally applied through an IV to the veins in the hospital. Some drugs are injected into tissues near the cancerous site. Immunotherapy is also used for certain patients with oral cavity cancer that have special proteins in their tumor cells called receptor tyrosine kinases or other proteins that can be targeted by immunotherapy.
Patients could also undergo chemotherapy for any metastatic disease if they have lung, liver, bone, or other distant metastasis outside of the head and neck region.
The overall 5-year survival rate for people who have oral cavity cancer is 44%.
Frequently Asked Questions on Oral Cavity Cancer
What are the Types of Oral Cancer?
Oral cancer can be divided into these categories:
· Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC)
· Oral Mucosal Neoplasms (OMN)
· Oral Submucous Neoplasms (OST)
· Laryngeal Neoplasms (LNG)
What is the Oral Cancer Staging System?
This is a very important part of understanding oral cavity cancer. The staging system used to determine the type, extent, severity, and prognosis of an oral cavity cancer is known as Oral Cancer Staging System or OSO. OSO was created by investigators at the National Cancer Institute in 1992.
Oral Cancer Staging System/OSO is designed to help doctors determine the type, extent, severity, and prognosis of oral cancer.
What makes this system so important in the diagnosis of oral cancer is that it closely mimics how cancer is treated in other parts of the body. The OSO system was created by investigators at the National Cancer Institute (NCI).