Oral Cancer: A large number of people suffer from oral cancer. It has higher mortality and morbidity rates. Oral cancer can be seen in any part of the mouth (that is the oral cavity). It can occur on one’s lips, gums, tongue, the roof of the mouth, and even the floor of the mouth (which means under the person’s tongue). Oral cancer is the most common form of head and neck cancer and is seen in younger and older populations. The causes of oral cancer are smoking, drinking alcohol, excessive use of tobacco and infection with the human papillomavirus (HPV). However, it can occur in patients with no known risk factors as well.
Dr Tirathram Kaushik, consultant oncosurgeon wockhardt Hospitals Mira road spoke to India.com and discussed symptoms of Oral Cancer, its treatment and prevention. Read on to know more about this.
SYMPTOMS OF ORAL CANCER
One with oral cancer will exhibit symptoms such as painful mouth ulcers that refuse to heal, lumps in the mouth or the neck, loose teeth or sockets, numbness or an odd feeling on the lip or tongue, white or red patches on the lining of the mouth or tongue, slurred speech, hoarse voice, thickening of the cheek, change in taste or tongue sensation, inability to chew or swallow, facial numbness, dentures that don’t fit well, bleeding in the mouth, weight loss and even numbness of the mouth. Seek timely intervention when you notice these symptoms. Delaying treatment can worsen the symptoms. So, be vigilant when it comes to your health.
TREATMENT AND PREVENTION OF ORAL CANCER
Once you are detected with oral cancer, the doctor will decide the line of treatment based on the location and stage of cancer. You will be advised to undergo surgery to get rid of cancerous cells, radiation therapy, or chemotherapy. So, the doctor will decide what suits you the best after examining your overall health. You will have to follow the instructions given by the doctor and avoid self-medication. In order to prevent oral cancer, quit alcohol, tobacco and smoking, and eat a well-balanced diet inclusive of fresh vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. Try to follow good oral hygiene, maintain a healthy weight, exercise daily, and go for regular dental check-ups and follow-ups.