Types of Oral Cancer
It is categorized according to the cell types and cell beginnings:
Squamous cell carcinoma – It is the most common type of oral cancer, accounting for 90 percent of oral cancer cases.
Less Common – Some less common cancers, such as adenocarcinomas, lymphomas, sarcomas, and melanomas.
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Risk Factors for Oral Cancer
- Lifestyle – People who consume huge amounts of tobacco, alcohol, and cigarettes.
- Diet, obesity, age – risk increases with age.
- Genetic – Family history of oral or any kind of cancer.
- HPV Infection – The presence of the human papillomavirus raises the possibility of oral cancer.
- Chronic sun exposure/ Radiation exposure/ Occupational hazard.
- Gender – It occurs in men twice as often as in women.
- Immune system suppression – In this case, patients receiving medications to reduce the immune system may increase the risk of oral cancer.
Signs and Symptoms of Oral Cancer
- Non-healing ulcer in the oral cavity.
- White or red patches in the oral cavity.
- Weight loss.
- Bleeding mouth sores.
- Difficulty chewing/ swallowing.
- Ear pain.
- Having difficulty moving your jaw, changes in the way your denture is inserted.
- Hoarseness of voice.
Diagnosis of Oral Cancer
- In the early stages of oral cancer, changes in tissue can be observed and detected easily.
- Personal history – The habitual use of tobacco and alcohol can be observed.
- Medical Examination – Medical examination of the mouth, oral and perioral tissues. Leukoplakia and erythroplakia are the two types of injuries that could be the precursors of oral cancer. Any red (erythroplakia) or white (leukoplakia) injury that lasts for more than 2 weeks should be estimated. There are more severe cases of erythroplakia, which increases the risk of cancer.
- Biopsy – It is performed to exclude cancerous cells.
- Imaging Studies – Studies like X-rays, CTs, MRIs, and PET scans can help determine the stage of oral cancer.
Staging of Oral Cancer
Upon diagnosis of cancer with a biopsy, imaging studies are then performed to detect the stages of the disease. Treatment decisions are based on the stages of cancer, and the right treatment will improve the patient’s overall health.
Phases of cancer are based on three main components.
- Tumor – It shows the size of the cancer.
- Node – It shows cancer in the lymph nodes.
- Metastasis – It shows the spreading of cancer to other parts of the body.
- A number 0-4 is assigned, which shows the severity of the disease. Higher the number, the more severe the severity of the disease.
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Treatment of Oral Cancer
- The method of treating oral cancer is determined by the stage, age, and health of the patient.
- Treatment depends on the stages of the cancer. Right detection makes the right treatment.
- Surgery, Radiation, and Chemotherapy can be used alone or in combination to achieve the most effective possible results.
Surgical removal of tumor – Cancerous tissue is removed around a small amount of healthy tissue. Surgery is mainly done when the tumor is small or big and treatment depends on radiation plus chemotherapy.
Cosmetic reconstructive Surgery – It is done to support patients suffering from cosmetic damage and problems with swallowing, and chewing. The surgeon transplant skin, muscles, or bones.
Radiation therapy – High-energy x-rays are used to damage cancerous tissue. Radiation therapy is enough to treat the initial stage of cancer. It includes:
- External beam radiation
- After radiation effects
- Mouth sores
- Bleeding gums
- Jaw stiffness
- Dry mouth
Chemotherapy – Some strong medications are prescribed to destroy cancer cells. Chemotherapy’s effects are based on the type and amount of drug used and last shortly after the treatment has ended. Some of the side effects after chemotherapy treatment are:
- Nausea, vomiting
- Hair Loss
- Weak immune system
Factors Affecting Cost of Oral Cancer Surgery
The cost of the treatment depends on the patients and several factors:
The hospital, the patient chooses.
Room – A quality single room, a luxury room, a super luxurious room for the duration of the stay (this includes nursing fees, meals, room prices, and room services).
The team of doctors charges a fee.
Standard test and diagnostic procedures.
Type of surgery performed.
Cost of Radiation/ Chemotherapy.
Cost of protection and care needed after the procedure.