Oral Cancer

Cancer is an uncontrollable growth of cells that cause damage to the surrounding cells and tissues. Oral Cancer can be defined as a cancerous tissue growth in the oral cavity. The lips, gums, cheek lining, front part of and under the tongue, floor and roof of the mouth, sinuses and the throat(pharynx) all comprise the oral cavity. Oral cancer can prove to be fatal if not treated early.

Symptoms

  • Velvety or speckled white or red patches in the mouth

  • Swellings, bumps, eroded areas, rough spots etc on the lips, gums or insides of the mouth

  • Unexplained numbness or bleeding in the mouth

  • Persistent sores that do not heal in two weeks time

  • Difficulty chewing, speaking, swallowing

  • Ear pain

  • Change in the way dentures or teeth fit in

  • Chronic sore throat, hoarseness or change in voice

  • Dramatic weight loss

Risk Factors

Studies show that men above 50 years are at a higher risk of developing oral cancer particularly those associated with the following risk factors

  • Smoking

  • Tobacco users

  • Excessive consumption of alcohol

  • Family history of cancer

  • Over exposure to sun especially at a young age

Diagnosis

During your regular dental visit, your dentist would conduct an oral cancer screening that includes checking for lumps in the head, neck, mouth or face. Your oral cavity would be screened to check for the presence of any discoloured tissue or sores. If required, a brush biopsy or a scalpel biopsy may be performed.

Treatment

Treatment procedure is much the same as for other types of cancer and includes surgery followed by radiation therapy and chemotherapy.

Prevention

You can start early and take a few steps to prevent oral cancer.

  • Avoid tobacco and tobacco products, refrain from smoking and drink alcohol in moderation

  • Eat a balanced diet

  • Limit your exposure to sun

  • Practice good oral hygiene

  • Conduct a self examination atleast once a month

  • Visit your dentist regularly

For more details fix an appointment with our dentists who can assist you in clearing all your doubts and queries. Get an oral examination done today and improve your chances of successful treatment.