Oral Cancer

Oral cancer is the cancer of the mouth, lips, gums, tongue, cheeks and other soft structures in the mouth. Men are twice as likely than women to develop oral cancer.

Risk Factors

  • Smoking
  • Alcohol
  • Chewing tobacco and its various forms
  • Diet that lacks fruits and vegetables
  • Spicy food
  • HPV
  • Previous history of cancer
  • Compromised immune system

Types

  • Squamous Cell Cancers of the mouth and oropharynx
  • Salivary gland cancer
  • Adenoid Cystic tumor
  • Lymphoma
  • Melanoma

Stages

Stage 0 is known as carcinoma-in-situ which is the earliest stage of cancer (pre-cancer)

Stage 1 means cancer has begun extending through lining tissues of the mouth and oropharynx into the deeper tissues

Stage 2 means the cancer is between 2-4cms in size and has not spread to nearby lymph nodes

Stage 3 means that the cancer is either > 4cms in size or irrespective of the size has spread to lymph nodes on the same side as the lesion

Stage 4 means it has begun its spread to other structures of the body

Symptoms

  • Non- healing ulcers
  • Pain and discomfort in the mouth
  • Red or white patches in the mouth or throat
  • Difficulty in swallowing
  • Speech trouble
  • Bad breath
  • Unusual bleeding or numbness in the mouth
  • Lump in your mouth or throat

Genetic Predisposition

  • Genetic syndromes: Some inherited genetic mutations, which cause different syndromes in the body, carry a high risk of oral and oropharyngeal cancer. These include:
  • Fanconi’s anemia
  • Dyskeratosis Congenita

Treatment

  • Surgery
  • Chemoradiotherapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiotherapy
  • Biological Therapy