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Mouth cancer refers to cancer which develops in any parts which make up the mouth. It can occur on the lips, tongue, gums, roof of the mouth, inner lining of the cheeks and floor of the mouth. The cancer which occurs on the inside of the mouth is sometimes called as oral cavity cancer of oral cancer.
The American Society of Clinical Oncology estimated that around 48,330 Americans were to receive a diagnosis of oral or pharyngeal cancer in the year 2016 and around 9,570 deaths due to the same.
The mouth cancer is one of the several types of cancer which is grouped in a category called the head and neck cancers. Often the mouth cancer and other head and neck cancers are treated similarly. Get in touch with us to book your Mouth Cancer Treatment in India by sending us your query on our website.
The mouth or oral cavity includes the lips, upper and lower gums, front two-thirds of the tongue, floor of the mouth, under the tongue, inside lining of the cheeks and lips, area behind the wisdom teeth, roof the mouth or the hard palate.
Types of Mouth Cancer
Mouth cancer is categorized by the type of cell the cancer starts in.
Squamous cell carcinoma: It is one of the most common type of mouth cancer which accounts for 9 out of 10 cases. The squamous cells are found in many places around the body including the mouth and skin.
Other less common types of mouth cancer are:
- Sarcomas: They grow from the abnormalities in the bone, muscle, cartilage or other body tissue.
- Adenocarcinomas: These are cancers which develop inside the salivary glands.
- Lymphomas: They grow from the cells which are normally found in the lymph glands but can also develop in the mouth.
- Oral malignant melanomas: The cancer starts in the melanocytes, the cells which produce the skin pigment. They appear as very dark, mottled swellings which bleed often.
The risk factors for mouth cancer include the following:
- Chewing tobacco or betel quid
- Human papilloma virus (HPV)
- Sunlight and sun beds
- Weak immunity system
- Family history
- Previous cancer
- Genetic conditions
- Blood pressure drug
- Mouth conditions such as red patches called erythroplakia and white patches called as leukoplakia.
- Diet rich in processed meat, red meat and friend foods
- Gastro-esophgeal reflux disease (GERD), a digestive condition in which the acid from the stomach leaks back up to the gullet
- Exposure to certain chemicals especially sulphuric acid, asbestos and formaldehyde
- Prior radiation treatment or radiotherapy in the head, neck or both
Signs and Symptoms of Mouth Cancer
The symptoms of mouth cancer include the following:
- Unexplained, persistent lumps in the mouth which doesn’t go away
- Sore mouth ulcers which don’t heal within several weeks
- Persistent or unexplained lumps in the neck which don’t go away
- Unexplained looseness of teeth or sockets which don’t heal after extractions
- Persistent or unexplained numbness or an odd feeling on the lip or tongue
- Changes in the speech such as a lisp
- Sometimes, white or red patches on the lining of the mouth or tongue can be early signs of cancer hence they should also be investigated
- Pain white swallowing
- Poorly fitting dentures
- Sore throat
- Jaw pain or stiffness
- Hoarse voice
- A sensation that something is stuck in the throat
- Pain in the neck or eat which does not go away
If these symptoms won’t heal within three weeks, then see your GP or dentist especially if you drink or smoke heavily. Fill up our free consultation form on our website to know the Mouth Cancer Treatment Cost in India from the Best Oral Cancer Surgeon in Delhi.
If you have symptoms of mouth cancer, then your GP or dentist will carry out a physical examination and ask about your symptoms. If the mouth cancer is suspected, you’ll be referred to hospital for further tests or to speak to a specialist oral and maxillofacial surgery.
- Biopsy: During this a small sample of the affected tissue will be removed to check for the presence of the cancerous cells
- Ultrasound scan of the neck: It is a painless procedure that uses the sound waves to produce a picture of your neck and the lymph nodes on the computer screen. The doctor will put some gel on to your neck and pass a small device to produce sound waves over the area and look for any changes in the size or appearance of the lymph nodes in the neck.
- X-ray: The doctor will take X-rays of the face and neck to see if the cancer has spread to any bone. They may use a special X-ray known as orthopantomogram (OPG) to look at your teeth and jaw.
- Fine Needle Aspiration (FNA) of the lymph nodes: It will be done in case when the lymph nodes in your neck don’t feel or look normal on a scan. Often it is done to see whether there are any cancer cells in the lymph nodes. The doctor passes a fine needle into the lymph node and withdraws some cells into a syringe which might feel uncomfortable. It is a really quick process which doesn’t need a local anesthesia to numb the area. You might have an ultrasound scan at the same time to help guide the needle. After test, a doctor will examine the sample under a microscope to look for the cancer cells.
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan: It uses magnetism to build up a detailed picture of the areas of the body.
- Computerized Tomography (CT) Scan: It takes a series of X-rays which build a three dimensional picture of the inside of the body. The scan is painless and takes around 10-30 minutes. It uses small amount of radiation which is unlikely to harm you. You will be asked not to eat or drink for at least four hours before the scan. You will be given a drink or injection of a dye that allows the particular areas to be seen more clearly. For a few minutes, this may make you feel hot all over.
Stages of Mouth Cancer
Often the cancers are staged in the following way:
- Stage 1: The tumor is less than one inch across and has not reached the nearby lymph nodes.
- Stage 2: The tumor measure one to two inches and has not reached to the nearby lymph nodes.
- Stage 3: Either the tumor measure one to two inches across but has not spread or it has spread to one nearby lymph node on the same side of the neck as the tumor and the lymph node is not more than one inch across.
- Stage 4: The cancer which affects the tissues around the lips, mouth and possibly the nearby lymph nodes or it has spread to the rest of the body.
A person diagnosed with stage 1 oral or pharyngeal cancer has an 83% chance of surviving for longer than five years. About 31% of cases are diagnosed at this stage. For those with cancer which has spread to other parts of the body, the chance of surviving over five years is 38%. Send us your query on our website to book your Affordable Mouth Cancer Treatment in India.
The treatments for nouth cancer depend on the stage and the grade of the cancer as well as your overall general health. Your specialist doctor or nurse will explain about the best treatment for you and any likely side effects of the same. To know the Cost of Oral Cancer Treatment in India, send us your inquiry and our executive will get back to you with required details for further interaction.
The surgery for mouth cancer include:
Surgery to remove the tumor: Your surgeon will cut away the tumor and a margin of healthy tissues surrounding it ensure that all the cancer cells have been removed. Small cancers will be removed through minor surgery while larger tumors need more-extensive procedures.
Surgery to remove cancer which has spread to the neck: If the cancer cells have spread to the lymph nodes in the neck or if there is a higher risk that it has occurred due to the size of the cancer, then your surgeon will recommend a procedure to remove the cancerous lymph nodes and related tissues in the neck. This is known as neck dissection which removes any cancer cells that may have spread to the lymph nodes. It will leave a scar on your neck but won’t affect your body’s ability to fight infections in the future.
Surgery to reconstruct the mouth: After an operation to remove the cancer, you surgeon will recommend reconstructive surgery for rebuilding your mouth which will help you to regain the ability to eat and talk. Your surgeon may transplant grafts of skin, muscle or bone from other parts of the body to reconstruct your mouth. Dental implants will be used for replacing your natural teeth either at the time of your cancer treatment or after you have healed.
It uses the high-energy beams such as the X-rays and protons to kill the cancer cell. Often the radiation therapy is delivered from a machine outside the body, also called as the external beam radiation. It can also come from the radioactive seeds and wires placed near the cancer, known as brachytherapy.
If you have an early stage mouth cancer, then radiation therapy may be the only treatment you will receive. It can also be used after surgery. In some cases, it will be combined with chemotherapt which increases the effectiveness of the radiation therapy. You may also have increased side effects. Radiation therapy helps to relieve the signs and symptoms caused by the cancer such as pain, in case of advanced mouth cancer.
This is a treatment using the chemicals to kill the cancer cells. The Chemotherapy drugs can either be given alone or in combination with other chemotherapy drugs or can be combined with other cancer treatments. When combined with radiation therapy, it will increase its effectiveness.
The targeted drugs treat the mouth cancer by altering the specific aspects of the cancer cells which fuel their growth. It treats the mouth cancer by altering the specific aspects of cancer cells which fuel their growth. Cetuximab is a targeted therapy approved to treat the head and neck cancers in certain cases. It stops the action of the proteins which are found in many types of healthy cells, but is not prevalent in certain types of cancer cells. It can be used in combination with radiation therapy and chemotherapy. Other targeted drugs such as one which target the immune system called immunotherapy are being studied in clinical trials.
After completion of your treatment for mouth cancer, you will have regular check-ups and possible X-rays or scans. These may be continued for several years. If you have any problems or notice any new symptoms, talk to your doctor about them as soon as possible. Learn about the Best Surgeon for Mouth Cancer in Mumbai and the Best Oral Cancer Hospital in Mumbai on our website. Contact us to know the Best Mouth Cancer Hospital in Delhi and the Mouth Cancer Treatment Cost in Mumbai.