What Is Oral Cancer?

What Is Oral Cancer?

Oral cancer can be defined as malignant new tissue formation and abnormal cell growth in any area in the mouth or on the lips. It can be said to occur frequently on the palate and on the tongue. Early diagnosis and treatment is very important in oral cancer. In the treatment process, surgical methods may be applied. However, chemotherapy can also be added to surgical methods.

Oral cancer risk factors

  • Intense and long-term tobacco use
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Prolonged and intense exposure to the sun
  • Obesity
  • History of head and neck cancer
  • Family history of cancer

Oral cancer symptoms

While the symptoms of oral cancer can vary from person to person, it usually manifests itself as white/red-white patches or sores inside the mouth or on the lips. These wounds may not heal for a long time and may begin to cause pain. Oral cancer may differ in symptoms depending on its types. Some types of oral cancer may also show symptoms such as red-white sores on the gingiva or tonsils.

Other mouth cancer symptoms may include:

  • Having difficulty moving the jaw and tongue
  • Burning sensation in throat
  • Bumps appearing on cheeks
  • Swelling in the neck
  • Persistent bad breath
  • Persistent ear pain
  • Bleeding inside the mouth
  • Pain felt in the tongue

Oral cancer treatment process

Oral cancer treatment usually requires surgical intervention. Treatment may include surgical removal of all cancerous tissues, radiotherapy or chemotherapy. One of the most recent and promising developments is the robotic surgery method.

Depending on the type of tumor seen in the patient and the stage of the disease, doctors can decide which of these methods or combinations to use. In treatment processes in which more than one method is used, the order of these methods may also vary according to the condition of the patients.

Radiotherapy can be used for tumors that are considered small in size. If radiotherapy using high-energy X-rays fails to cure the cancer, it can still help relieve painful symptoms. Chemotherapy may also be included in the treatment process to reduce the size of tumors that are planned to be removed by surgical methods.

Oral cancer diagnosed early during stage I or II and treated promptly can result in a high rate of cure. This is because at these stages the size of the tumors does not exceed 4 centimeters and has not spread. On the other hand, Stage III and IV mean advanced cancer. Radiotherapy and chemotherapy may accompany surgical intervention when treatment is started in these stages.

What Is Oral Cancer?

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