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What Is Oral Cancer?
Oral cancer is a branch of the cancer types known as head and neck cancers. Every part of the oropharynx or oral cavity of an individual can be affected by oral cancer. Majority of the oral cancer originate from our tongue or from the floor of our mouth. Besides that, the largest share of oral cancer start from flat cells or the squamous cells i.e. the cells covering surfaces of our lips, tongue and mouth. Such oral cancers are termed as squamous cell carcinoma. During metastasis or spreading of oral cancer, the cancer cells invade our lymphatic system and get carried by the lymph. After metastasis, often the cancer cells appear first on the closest lymph nodes of the oral cavity i.e. the lymph nodes of the neck.
As the disease starts progressing, other body parts like lungs and liver might also get affected by cancer. In such cases, all the new tumors possess similar abnormal cells to that of primary tumors. This means when lungs get affected by metastasized oral cancer, the cancer cells of lungs are basically oral cancer cells. Such cancers will not be termed as lung cancers; instead they will be referred to as metastatic oral cancers.
What are the signs of oral cancer? The most frequently occurring oral cancer symptoms include the following:
- Patches appearing either on the lips or inside the mouth; these patches are usually red or white in color, but can also possess a mixture of white and red. The white patches or the leukoplakias become malignant on some occasions. The erythroleukoplakias or the patches having both red and white in them are more likely to turn malignant compared to the leukoplakias. Finally, the bright red patches or the erythroplakias are at maximum risk of getting malignant.
- Bleeding in oral cavity
- Appearance of sores on the lips or within the oral cavity that do no subside even after weeks
- Loose teeth
- Problems while wearing dentures
- Painful or obstructed swallowing
- Appearance of lumps in the neck
- Persistent earache
If you have one or more of the above symptoms, you should report them to your dentist or doctor without delay. The doctor will examine your symptoms and ask you undergo some diagnostic procedures. The common tests suggested to the suspected oral cancer patients are: imaging tests, blood tests for cancer markers and biopsy. Biopsy is done only if the results of imaging tests and blood tests indicate that the patient might be suffering from cancer.
Oral Cancer from HPV: What Are the Symptoms?
According to statistics offered by National Cancer Institute, every year around 30,000 Americans are diagnosed with oral cancer and 25% of those oral cancer cases turn out to be fatal as a result of delayed diagnosis. Most of the oral cancer cases are triggered by tobacco and alcohol use; however, factors like excessive sun exposure, poor diet are also know to be responsible for occurrence of oral cancer in many. Another factor leading to oral cancer is infections from human papillomavirus or HPV. HPV is a group of viruses, which get transmitted sexually and usually do not cause any symptom until the cancer progresses. Below, we have discussed about the symptoms indicating oral cancer from human papillomavirus.
Discolored patches: Appearance of discolored patches on the lips and oral cavity [...]
What Are the Oral Cancer Types?
Following are the different types of oral cancer:
Squamous cell carcinoma:
The current statistics suggest that over 90% of the patients diagnosed with oral cancer in the US are victims of squamous cell carcinoma. What are the squamous cells? They are the flat cells forming lining of our lips, tongue and mouth. 40% of the cases of squamous cell carcinoma begin either from the floor of the patients’ mouth or from the side or bottom of their tongue. In 40% patients the disease starts from cells of their lower lip. In the remaining 20% patients, squamous cell carcinoma starts either from their tonsil or from their mouth’s roof. This cancer type might appear in form of hard lumps or as ulcers (the ulcers mostly stay surrounded by hard borders).
Around 5% of the [...]
How to Prevent Oral Cancer?
Oral cancer is the umbrella term used for cancer occurring in any part of the oral cavity, which includes the lips, tongue, gums, the inner lining of our cheeks, floor and roof of the mouth and lower and upper jaw. However, preventing oral cancer is possible if you follow the tips presented below:
Get rid of your drinking and smoking habit : Majority of the cases of oral cancer is triggered by tobacco smoking. So, quit smoking if you want to prevent the onset of oral cancer. Drinking alcohol regularly is also known to cause oral cancer. According to experts, if you find it difficult to stop drinking completely, you must make sure that you are drinking only wine that too in moderation. Wine is known to be less harmful compared to beer and other alcoholic beverages. The risk of developing [...]
Oral Cancer Symptoms and Causes
Cancer is termed as the irrepressible development of cells which assault adjoining tissue and thus damaging them. Oral cancer arises as growths or sores in the mouth which fail to subside.
Oral cancer that entails cancer affecting the lip, cheek, tongue, mouth base, sinus, pharyngeal area (throat), velum or hard palate, could be life-menacing in case its timely diagnosis & treatment is not carried out.
Oral Cancer Symptoms
The highly prevalent oral cancer symptoms comprise of:
Any thickening/swelling, bump/ lumpiness, coarse textured crust or spot or eroding of parts of the lip, gum or some inner portion of the mouth.
Formation of velvet-like whitish, reddish or spotted (whitish/reddish) patch formations in the oral area.
Inexplicable blood loss in the mouth.
New Fluorescent Laser Probe for Earlier Oral Cancer Detection
Scientists from UC Davis Medical Center have come up with a laser probe that could detect oral cancer earlier on. A study based on human candidates reveals that the piece of equipment can additionally be utilized at the time of surgical procedure for locating tumor borders.
Around forty-three thousand individuals in the United States are identified with tumor presence in the oral, pharyngeal and laryngeal regions of the body on a yearly basis. The key risk factor associated with these types of cancers is smoking; however a current surge in such cancer cases have shown links with HPV (human papillomavirus). Majority of the cases are not detected till the cancer has progressed to a later staging.
One of the UC Davis study researchers, Prof. of biomedical engineering, Laura Marcu states [...]