What is Mouth Cancer?
Mouth cancer, also known as oral cancer, is a type of head and neck cancer that affects the oral cavity of a person. It may be initially in the form of a lesion in the tissue of the mouth or could have spread from another cancerous site through metastasis as well as spread from the neighboring region (such as nasal cavity).
Signs And Symptoms of Mouth Cancer?
The more commonly seen mouth cancer symptoms are:
- Abnormal swelling, lumps, erosion of lips, gums and other oral cavity areas.
- The growth of soft white and red spots in the oral cavity.
- Bleeding gums with unknown reasons.
- Tenderness or numbness in the neck, mouth or face region without visible cause.
- Sores are seen in the mouth, neck or face that persists for longer than 2 weeks.
- Swallowing difficulty due to a feeling or soreness or blockage felt in the throat.
- Difficulty in using the tongue and jaw without any possible cause.
- Prolonged hoarseness or a chronic sore throat.
- Pain in the ear.
- The unexplained loss in weight.
In case you see any, or a combination, of these signs and symptoms it is advisable to go for a consultation with a cancer specialist (oncologist).
Types of Mouth Cancer?
The mouth cancer is classified into several different types according to the location and the type of cancerous cells that cause the cancer in the oral cavity.
These are some of the commonly seen types of mouth cancer:
This type of cancerous cells is composed of tissue resembling normal-seeming tissues that have multiple germ layers. The teratoma cancer cells may seem normal in nature but are significantly different from the surrounding tissues and highly versatile in the cellular structuring.
This type of cancerous cell is distinguished from others by the distinct neoplasia of epithelial tissue which has a glandular origin as well as glandular characteristics. These are seen to be derived from the major or minor salivary glands in the mouth (tongue).
This is referred to the collective blood cell tumors that are seen to be developed from the lymphatic cells.
This type of oral cancer develops from the pigment-producing cells called as ‘melanocytes’. These are found to develop in the oral mucosa (inner lining of the mouth).
Mouth cancer is mostly found to develop on the tongue but may also develop in the floor of the mouth, gums, cheek lining, roof of the mouth (palate) as well as the lips.
How is Mouth Cancer diagnosed?
The diagnosis of mouth cancer usually begins with a dental check-up in which the dentist will look for abnormal lumps or bumps including irregular tissue development in the face, neck or head region. The dentist will also look for patches of discolored skin and tissues along with scores.
The dentist will basically look for any of the visible symptoms as seen in a case of mouth cancer.
If the dentist detects an abnormal tissue growth in the neck, head or facial region they will perform an oral brush biopsy which involves removing a small portion of the abnormal tissue and analyzing it to detect the signs of cancerous cells.
How is Mouth Cancer Treated?
As with any other form of cancer, there are various types of treatment methods that basically depend on the location and stage of cancer’s progress as well as the patient’s overall health condition and preferences along with the surgeon’s choice.
These are the different types of cancer treatment:
There are various types of cancer surgery that are classified according to the purpose of the surgery.
- Cancer removal - This surgery involves the surgeon to remove the cancer tumor directly along with a part of the surrounding healthy tissue. Large tumors require complex and a long surgical procedure while the smaller tumors can be removed with a minor and short surgery.
- Removing metastasized cancer - In case cancer has spread to the surrounding regions the surgeon may be required to remove the affected tissue as well as a part of the surrounding healthy tissue to avoid chances of recurrence and metastasizing.
- Oral reconstruction surgery - Usually after a major cancer surgery of the oral cavity the surgeon is likely to advise a reconstructive procedure to help regain your natural appearance and functioning as much as possible. The surgeon may use skin grafting, muscle grafting or bone implant to reconstruct your face. Dental implants will help you to replace the lost teeth.
Radiation therapy involves focusing high-energy beams on the cancerous cells, or tumors, to destroy the cancerous cells completely. This is performed by either using a machine (external beam radiation) or by using minimally invasive (or non-invasive) methods such as radioactive wires or seeds to perform a brachytherapy.
Radiation therapy is usually successful for treatment of mouth cancer in its early stages or can be used as a post-surgical procedure to avoid recurrence of the mouth cancer. Radiation therapy is often used in combination with chemotherapy which increases the effectiveness of radiation therapy. This therapy also helps relieves painful symptoms of advanced stage mouth cancer.
This form of mouth cancer treatment uses medicinal drugs to kill cancerous cells. These drugs may be used solely, in combination with other various chemotherapy drugs or combined with other therapy methods for increased effectiveness.
Targeted drug therapy
Targeted drug therapy works by changing the specific characteristic of the cancer cells that cause the tumor’s growth. These are also used in combination with radiation therapy or chemotherapy.
Why choose to get Mouth Cancer treatment in India?
The oncologists and cancer specialists in India are vastly experienced and have extensive training in the latest cancer treatment techniques. These doctors’ and surgeons’ efficiency is enhanced further with the support of the wide network of hospitals and clinics that are equipped with the most advanced and modern medical and surgical instruments. All this combined with the very low cost of treatment of mouth cancer in India makes it the preferred destination for the thousands of foreign patients that come to get treatment for mouth cancer every year.