Cancer: Signs & Symptoms of Mouth Cancer One Must Not Ignore
Radiotherapy, chemotherapy and immunotherapy have all made advancements that have made treatments even more effective while causing less side effects.
Understanding the signs and symptoms of mouth cancer can help in early diagnosis
In India, oral cancer or mouth cancer is the most frequently occurring form of cancer in men, accounting for 11.28% of all cancers. Among women, it is the fifth most common formwith 4.3% of all cases. If the cancer is diagnosed early enough, it can lead to a 5-year survival rate of over 80%. But, if diagnosed at an advanced stage, the survival rate is very low (less than 20-30%). Tobacco use is linked to 80% of oral cancers, especially in men over 40. Recently, there's been a rise in oral cancer among women and young adults over the past few decades, most likely due to the increased use of smokeless tobacco.
Common Signs and Symptoms of Mouth Cancer
The most common symptom of oral cancer is a burning sensation in the mouth. The other symptoms are painful ulcers, difficulty in opening the mouth, change in the quality of speech, difficulty in swallowing, bleeding through the mouth, and loss of teeth. Sometimes there can be swelling in the neck which is typically painless. These symptoms can also be present due to other causes but if they don't go away even after taking medications and is present for more than 3 weeks, the possibility of cancer should be considered.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Diagnosing oral cancer can be a multi-step process that involves several tests to confirm the presence of the disease and determine the extent of the disease. The tests can include FNAC and biopsy to diagnose the disease, as well as imaging scans such as CT, MRI, and PET to know the extent.
Once the diagnosis is made and the extent of the cancer is determined, treatment can be initiated. The treatment plan may consist of a combination of surgery, radiation, and cancer-modifying medicine (chemotherapy), all tailored to the individual case.
The surgical approach can either be open surgery or minimally invasive procedures like an endoscopic or roboticapproach. Cancer treatment has come a long way. Robotic surgery has hugely improved survival rates and cosmesis in these patients. The advantage of robotic surgery is a precise approach, minimal scarring, and better outcomes. With improvements in radiotherapy, chemotherapy, and immunotherapy, treatments are even more effective with minimal side effects.
(Content By: Dr. P Subramanya Rao, Consultant, Head, Neck, and Skull Based Surgeon, Manipal Hospital Old Airport Road)
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. NDTV is not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, suitability, or validity of any information in this article. All information is provided on an as-is basis. The information, facts, or opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of NDTV and NDTV does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.
DoctorNDTV is the one stop site for all your health needs providing the most credible health information, health news and tips with expert advice on healthy living, diet plans, informative videos etc. You can get the most relevant and accurate info you need about health problems like diabetes, cancer, pregnancy, HIV and AIDS, weight loss and many other lifestyle diseases. We have a panel of over 350 experts who help us develop content by giving their valuable inputs and bringing to us the latest in the world of healthcare.