Unlike before, the term “oral cancer” has found its use in routine discussions. But what is oral cancer, and is it treatable? Let us start from the basic before we jump to the techniques available for the treatment for mouth cancer.
ORAL CANCER: AN OVERVIEW
As the name suggests, oral cancer affects the tissues of the mouth. Oral cancer develops and is visible in regions surrounding the tongue, the lips, and the inner lining of the mouth. The most prevalent cause of this category of cancer is the consumption of tobacco. Tobacco, however, is not the only cause.
A few other lesser-known causes of oral cancer include:
- Genetic ailments and family history of oral cancers
- Excessively exposing the face to the sun
- Weak immunity system
Being diagnosed with such cancer not only influences your physical appearance but also causes emotional pain. If not detected and treated on time, oral cancer may result in death.
HOW TO FIND OUT IF YOU HAVE ORAL CANCER?
Now that you are aware of the risky habits which may initiate oral cancer, it is suggested to be extra cautious of your activities.
However, if you observe any symptoms or irregular changes, consult an expert at the earliest. A trained professional is the most reliable source of treatment. The oncologist picks up from the available treatment procedures keeping in mind the stage and location of the tumour.
Some common symptoms of oral cancer are loose teeth, bleeding, mouth sores, earache, and jaw pain.
WHAT ARE THE WAYS TO TREAT ORAL CANCER?
Mouth cancer treatment comprises several steps. The first step often involves chemotherapy. The idea behind chemotherapy is to clean the affected area and reduce the size of the tumour by killing the diseased cells.
A chemo procedure may or may not be followed by surgery. It depends on the severity of cancer. Reconstructive surgery is required to restore the face structure.
In some cases, the oncologist might even use a therapeutic approach to combining more than one treatment methodology.
Today, due to innovative research, we have newer treatment alternatives available. The most popular and advanced techniques comprise of:
- Proton beam therapy- Proton beam therapy is an alternative to traditional radiation treatment. This process causes less damage to the unaffected regions surrounding the tumour.
- Mohs surgery- The surgery involves removing small sections and observing them using a microscope. The removal continues until there is no sign of cancer
- Immunotherapy- Immunotherapy is a biological procedure that boosts the body’s ability to fight cancer. It is known to obstruct the growth of cancer cells by the intake of immunotherapy drugs.
Mouth cancer treatment is commonly performed using one of the above techniques. Yet, the cure is not restricted to these methods alone. Many more discovered methods are currently in their trial phase.
Prevention is better than cure. Therefore, one must avoid participating in any activity that involves the risk of causing mouth cancer. A patient who is already diagnosed with the condition needs to be diligent. With the discovery of new tools and processes, oral cancer is entirely curable. An oncology expert designs the plan for treatment for mouth cancer based on several factors. Following his directions and sticking to the prescribed medications will lead you to the road of recovery.