Inner cheek cancer (also called buccal mucosa cancer) is a type of head and neck cancer that begins when the cells that make up the inner cheek grow out of control and form lesions or tumors. These cancers usually occur in the thin, flat cells called squamous cells that line the buccal mucosa and other parts of the mouth.
What causes cheek cancer?
A cell's DNA contains the instructions that tell a cell what to do. The mutations changes tell the cells to continue growing and dividing when healthy cells would die. The accumulating abnormal mouth cancer cells can form a tumor.
We, at CAN-C provide cheek cancer treatment in Bangalore.
Here, you will find information about signs and symptoms, causes and risk factors, types, diagnosis, staging and prevention about cheek cancer.
Signs and symptoms of cheek cancer may include the following:
White, red, or dark patches in the mouth
A lump or thickening in your mouth
Mouth pain or numbness
Soreness or a feeling that something is caught in your throat
Difficulty moving your jaw or tongue
Difficulty chewing or swallowing
Severe ear pain
Loose teeth or pain around your teeth
Dentures that no longer fit
Jaw pain or swelling
We provide highly specialized cheek cancer treatment in Bangalore based on the latest treatments available today.
Factors that can increase your risk of cheek cancer include:
Age: Cancers of the cheek usually take many years to develop, so they're not common in young people.
Tobacco: Use of any kind, including cigarettes, cigars, pipes, chewing tobacco and snuff can cause cheek cancer.
Heavy alcohol use: Drinking alcohol increases the risk of developing cheek cancers.
A sexually transmitted virus called human papillomavirus (HPV)
Ultraviolet (UV) light: Sunlight is the main source of UV light. Exposed to sunlight for long periods of time may increase the risk of cheek cancer.
Poor nutrition: A diet low in fruits and vegetables is linked with an increased risk of cancers.
Weakened immune system: Cheek cancer can occur in people who have a weak immune system. A weak immune system can be caused by certain diseases present at birth, the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), and certain medicines (such as those given after organ transplants).
The different parts of cheek cancer which are made up of many types of cells. Different cancers can start in each type of cell. These differences are important, because they can impact a person's treatment options and prognosis (outlook).
Squamous cell carcinomas: Almost all of the cancers are squamous cell carcinomas, also called squamous cell cancers. These cancers start in early forms of squamous cells, which are flat, scale-like cells that form the lining of the mouth and throat. The earliest form of squamous cell cancer is called carcinoma in situ. This means that the cancer cells are only in the layer of cells called the epithelium.
Verrucous carcinoma: It is a type of squamous cell carcinoma and it's a low-grade (slow growing) cancer that rarely spreads to other parts of the body, but it can grow deeply into nearby tissue.
Minor salivary gland carcinomas: These cancers can start in the glands in the lining of the mouth and throat. There are many types of minor salivary gland cancers, including adenoid cystic carcinoma, mucoepidermoid carcinoma, and polymorphous low-grade adenocarcinoma.
Lymphomas: The tonsils and base of the tongue contain immune system (lymphoid) tissue, where cancers called lymphomas can start.
A doctor will examine the inside of the mouth and back of the throat to check the location and size of the cheek tumor. Examination of the ears, nose and neck are needed to help determine if the tumor has spread.
Some of the tests used for diagnosis of cheek cancer, including:
X-rays to determine if the tumor has spread to the lung
Fine needle aspiration biopsy (FNA). A thin needle is placed in the mouth. The cells are aspirated (suctioned) and then examined under a microscope to determine if the lump is cancerous
Imaging studies to determine if the tumor has invaded nearby tissues or other organs of the body. These may include: Computerized tomography scan: A computer is linked to an X-ray machine which creates a series of detailed pictures of areas inside the mouth and neck.
Magnetic resonance imaging: This machine uses a magnet, radio waves and a computer to create detailed pictures of the inside of the mouth and neck. This procedure may also be referred to as nuclear magnetic resonance imaging.
Positron emission tomography (PET) scan: During a PET scan, a small amount of radioactive glucose (sugar) is injected into a vein. The scanner creates computerized pictures of the areas inside the body. Cancer cells absorb more radioactive glucose than normal cells, so the tumor is highlighted on the pictures.
CAN-C is the specialist centre for the treatment of cheek cancer, in Bangalore.
The stage of cheek cancer is one of the most important factors in evaluating treatment options. TNM system is the most commonly used method for staging cheek cancer which based on three key components:
T (tumor): This describes the size of the original tumor.
N (node): This indicates whether the cancer is in the lymph nodes.
M (metastasis): This refers to whether the cancer has spread to other parts of the body.
CAN-C is the most-reputable cancer centre for cheek cancer treatment in Bangalore.
Cancer prevention is action taken to lower the chance of getting cancer. There's no proven way to prevent cheek cancer. However, you can reduce your risk of cheek cancer if you:
Stop using tobacco or don't start: If you use tobacco, stop. If you don't use tobacco, don't start. Using tobacco, whether smoked or chewed, exposes the cells in your mouth to dangerous cancer-causing chemicals.
Drink alcohol only in moderation, if at all: Chronic excessive alcohol use can irritate the cells in your mouth, making them vulnerable to mouth cancer. If you choose to drink alcohol, do so in moderation.
Sun exposure: Avoiding the sun may decrease the risk of cheek cancer.
The goals of the treatment of inner cheek cancer are to: cure the cancer, preserve your appearance and the functions of your mouth, prevent the cancer from coming back. Correct diagnosis and staging information will be helpful to develop a treatment plan tailored to you and your needs. Early-stage cancer of the buccal mucosa is often treated with surgery. Advanced cancer cases may require a combination of surgery and chemotherapy.
Several types of operations can be used to treat cheek cancer. Depending on where the cancer is and its stage, different operations may be used to remove the cancer. Surgery is often the first treatment used for these cancers. It's most commonly used for early stage cancers, those that are small and haven't spread.
After cancer is removed, reconstructive surgery can be done to help restore the appearance and function of the areas affected by the cancer or cancer treatment.
Tumor resection: In a tumor resection, the entire tumor and a margin (edge) of normal-looking tissue around it is removed (resected). The margin of normal tissue is taken out to reduce the chance of any cancer cells being left behind.
The main (primary) tumor is removed using a method based on its size and location. For example, if a tumor is in the front of the mouth, it might be relatively easy to remove it through the mouth. But a larger tumor (especially when it has grown into the oropharynx) may need to be removed through an incision (cut) in the neck or by cutting the jaw bone with a special saw to get to the tumor. (This is called a mandibulotomy.)
In Bangalore, we can offer leading-edge treatments for cheek cancer, and all personalized to your specific needs.
Radiation therapy uses high-energy x-rays or particles to destroy cancer cells or slow their rate of growth. Radiation therapy can be used in many ways to treat cheek cancers:
1. It can be used as the main treatment for small cancers.
2. People with larger cancers may need both surgery and radiation therapy or a combination of radiation therapy and chemotherapy or a targeted drug.
3. After surgery, radiation therapy can be used, either alone or with chemotherapy, as an additional (adjuvant) treatment to try to kill any cancer cells that might not have been removed during surgery. This is called adjuvant radiation therapy.
4. Radiation may be used (along with chemotherapy) to try to shrink some larger cancers before surgery. This is called neoadjuvant therapy. In some cases, this makes it possible to use less extensive surgery and remove less tissue.
5. Radiation therapy can also be used to help ease symptoms of advanced cancer, such as pain, bleeding, trouble swallowing, and problems caused by bone metastases (cancer that has spread to bones).
External beam radiation therapy: The most common way to give radiation for these cancers is to carefully focus a beam of radiation from a machine outside the body. This is called external beam radiation therapy or EBRT.
Brachytherapy: Another way to deliver radiation is by placing radioactive materials right into or near the cancer. This is called internal radiation, interstitial radiation, or brachytherapy. The radiation travels only a very short distance, which limits its effects on nearby normal tissues.
Chemotherapy (chemo) is the use of anti-cancer drugs to treat cancer. For oral cavity cancer like cheek cancer, the drugs are given into a vein or taken by mouth, which allows them to enter the bloodstream and reach cancer that has spread throughout the body.
Chemo may be used in several different situations:
1. Chemo (typically combined with radiation therapy) may be used instead of surgery as the main treatment for some cancers. (This is called chemoradiation.)
2. Chemo (combined with radiation therapy) may be given after surgery to try to kill any small deposits of cancer cells that may have been left behind. This is known as adjuvant chemotherapy.
3. Chemo (sometimes with radiation therapy) may be used to try to shrink some larger cancers before surgery. This is called neoadjuvant or induction chemotherapy. In some cases, this makes it possible to use less radical surgery and remove less tissue. This can lead to fewer serious side effects from surgery.
4. Chemo (with or without radiation therapy) can be used to treat cancers that are too large or have spread too far to be removed by surgery. The goal is to slow the growth of the cancer for as long as possible and to help relieve any symptoms the cancer is causing.
We are excelled in the delivery of quality cheek cancer treatment in Bangalore.
Targeted drugs work differently from standard chemotherapy (chemo) drugs.
Cetuximab (Erbitux®) is a man-made version of an immune system protein, called a monoclonal antibody. It targets a protein on the surface of certain cells called epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) that helps cells grow and divide. By blocking EGFR, cetuximab can help slow or stop cell growth.
Cetuximab may be combined with radiation therapy for some earlier stage cancers. For more advanced cancers, it may be combined with standard chemo drugs such as cisplatin, or it may be used by itself. Cetuximab is given by infusion into a vein (IV).
Immunotherapy is the use of medicines that help a person's own immune system find and destroy cancer cells. It can be used to treat some people with oral cavity or oropharyngeal cancer.
Immune checkpoint inhibitors: An important part of the immune system is its ability to keep itself from attacking normal cells in the body. To do this, it uses "checkpoints" - proteins on immune cells that need to be turned on (or off) to start an immune response. Cancer cells sometimes use these checkpoints to avoid being attacked by the immune system. But newer drugs that target these checkpoints hold a lot of promise as cancer treatments.
Pembrolizumab (Keytruda) and nivolumab (Opdivo) are drugs that target PD-1, a protein on immune system cells called T cells that normally helps keep these cells from attacking other cells in the body. By blocking PD-1, these drugs boost the immune response against cancer cells. This can shrink some tumors or slow their growth.
These drugs can be used after chemotherapy in people with cheek cancer cancer that has returned after treatment or that has spread to other parts of the body. These drugs are given as an intravenous (IV) infusion.
CAN-C: Specialist centre for complex cheek cancer treatment in Bangalore.
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