Cancer starts when cells in the body start to grow out of control. Cells in nearly any part of the body can become cancer, and can spread to other parts of the body. Oral cancers are generally classified as head and neck cancers. Oral cancer, is cancer that starts in the mouth (also called the oral cavity).
The oral cavity includes the lips, the inside lining of the lips and cheeks (buccal mucosa), the teeth, the gums, the front two-thirds of the tongue, the floor of the mouth below the tongue, and the bony roof of the mouth (hard palate). The different parts of the oral cavity are made up of many types of cells. Different cancers can start in each type of cell. Early detection of oral cancer can increase the options and success of treatment. We provide oral cancer treatment in Bangalore.
Here you can find out all about oral cancer, including risk factors, symptoms, how they are found, and how they are treated.
You won't always be able to spot the earliest warning signs of oral cancer, which is why regular check-ups with both your dentist and physician are so important. Many oral cancers are only detected when they are well advanced. Often in the early stages, the cancer is painless and may go unnoticed.
A sore in the mouth that doesn't heal (the most common symptom)
Pain in the mouth that doesn't go away (also very common)
A lump or thickening in the cheek
A white or red patch on the gums, tongue, tonsil, or lining of the mouth
A sore throat or a feeling that something is caught in the throat that doesn't go away
Difficulty or pain with chewing or swallowing
Trouble moving the jaw or tongue
Unusual bleeding, pain, Numbness of the tongue or other area of the mouth
Swelling of the jaw that causes dentures to fit poorly or become uncomfortable
Loosening of the teeth or pain around the teeth or jaw
A change in the voice or hoarseness that lasts for a long time
Weight loss, Pain in the ear, Constant bad breath
Many of these signs and symptoms can also be caused by things other than cancer, or even by other cancers. Still, it's very important to see a doctor if any of these conditions lasts more than 2 weeks so that the cause can be found and treated, if needed.
It can't say for sure what causes each case of oral cancer. But they do know many of the risk factors and how some of them may lead to cells becoming cancerous. Some risk factors, such as tobacco or heavy alcohol use, may cause these cancers by damaging the DNA of cells that line the inside of the mouth and throat. Cancers can be caused by DNA changes that create oncogenes or turn off tumor suppressor genes.
When tobacco and alcohol damage the cells lining the mouth and throat, the cells in this layer must grow more rapidly to repair this damage. The more often cells need to divide, the more chances there are for them to make mistakes when copying their DNA, which may increase their chances of becoming cancer.
Many of the chemicals found in tobacco can damage DNA directly. The combination of tobacco and alcohol damages DNA far more than tobacco alone. This damage can cause certain genes (for example, those in charge of starting or stopping cell growth) to malfunction. Abnormal cells can begin to build up, forming a tumor. With additional damage, the cells may begin to spread into nearby tissue and to distant organs.
Some people inherit DNA mutations (changes) from their parents that increase their risk for developing certain cancers. But inherited oncogene or tumor suppressor gene mutations are not believed to cause very many cancers of the oral cavity.
Some cancers have no clear cause. Some of the cancers may be linked to other, as of yet unknown risk factors. Others may have no external cause - they may just occur because of random DNA changes (mutations) inside a cell.
At CAN-C, highly experienced and qualified oncologists will offer oral cancer treatment (in Bangalore) with the use of technolgically advanced treatment.
A risk factor is anything that changes a person's chance of getting a disease such as cancer. Different cancers have different risk factors. There are different kinds of risk factors. Some, such as your age or race, can't be changed. Others may be related to personal choices such as smoking, drinking, or diet. Some factors influence risk more than others. But risk factors don't tell us everything. Having a risk factor, or even many, does not mean that a person will get the disease. Not having any risk factors doesn't mean that you won't get it, either.
Some people who have oral cancer have few or no known risk factors, and others who have risk factors never develop the disease. Even if someone does have risk factors, it's impossible to know for sure how much they contributed to causing the cancer.
Risk factors of oral cancers include:
Combined tobacco and alcohol: Tobacco and alcohol use are 2 of the strongest risk factors for oral cancers. Most people with oral cancers use tobacco. Drinking alcohol increases the risk of developing oral cavity and oropharyngeal cancers. The risk of these cancers is even higher in people who both smoke and drink alcohol, with the highest risk in heavy smokers and drinkers.
Gender: About two thirds of people diagnosed with oral cancer are men than women. This might be because men have been more likely to use tobacco and alcohol in the past.
Age: Oral cancers usually take many years to develop, so they're not common in young people. Most patients with these cancers are older than 55 when the cancers are first found. But this may change as HPV-linked cancers become more common.
Prolonged sun exposure (Ultraviolet (UV) light): Cancers of the lip are more common in people who have outdoor jobs where they are exposed to sunlight for long periods of time.
Poor nutrition: Several studies have found that a diet low in fruits and vegetables is linked with an increased risk of cancers of the oral cancer.
Weakened immune system: Oral cancers are more common 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).
Having human papillomavirus (HPV): a specific form of HPV - HPV 16 - can increase the risk for tonsil cancer or tongue base cancer
Genetic syndromes: People with certain syndromes caused by inherited defects (mutations) in certain genes have a very high risk of mouth and throat cancer.
Lichen planus: This disease occurs mainly in middle-aged people. Most often it affects the skin (usually as an itchy rash), but it sometimes affects the lining of the mouth and throat, appearing as small white lines or spots. A severe case may slightly increase the risk of oral cancer.
Long-term irritation caused by ill-fitting dentures
Many types of tumors (abnormal growths of cells) can develop in the oral cavity. They fit into 3 general categories:
Benign growths are not cancer. They do not invade other tissues and do not spread to other parts of the body.
Pre-cancerous conditions are harmless growths that can turn into cancer over time.
Cancer tumors are growths that can grow into nearby tissues and spread to other parts of the body.
The different parts of the oral cavity 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 (more than 90%) of the cancers in the oral cavity 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.
Verrucous carcinoma: is a type of squamous cell carcinoma that makes up less than 5% of all oral cancers. 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. 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.
CAN-C: Provides oral cancer treatment in Bangalore. There are several types of oral cancer to be aware of.
1. Tongue Cancer
2. Gum Cancer
3. Throat Cancer
4. Jaw Cancer
5. Lip Cancer
6. Cheek Cancer
7. Palate Cancer
Finding cancer early, when it's small and hasn't spread, often allows for more treatment options. Some early cancers may have signs and symptoms that can be noticed, but that's not always the case. Regular dental check-ups that include an exam of the entire mouth are important in finding oral and oropharyngeal cancers (and pre-cancers) early.
Along with a clinical exam of the mouth and throat, some dentists and doctors may use special dyes and/or lights to look for abnormal areas, especially if you are at higher risk for these cancers. If an abnormal area is spotted, tests may also be used to help decide if they might be cancers (and need to be biopsied) or to choose the best spot to take tissue from for a biopsy. Here are some of the tests most often used:
One method uses a dye called toluidine blue. If the dye is spread over an abnormal area, it will turn blue.
Another method uses laser light. When the light is reflected off abnormal tissue, it looks different from the light reflected off normal tissue.
Another system uses a special light to look at the changed area after the mouth has been rinsed with a solution of acetic acid (the acid in vinegar).
If an abnormal area is found, sometimes it can be tested by exfoliative cytology. To do this, the change tissue is scraped with a stiff brush (brush biopsy). The cells from the scraping are sent to a lab where they're checked under the microscope to see if there are pre-cancer or cancer cells.
After a cancer diagnosis, staging provides important information about the extent of cancer in the body and anticipated response to treatment. We provide oral cancer treatment for all stages of oral cancer in Bangalore.
After someone is diagnosed with oral cancer, doctors will try to figure out if it has spread, and if so, how far. This process is called staging. The stage of a cancer describes how much cancer is in the body. It helps determine how serious the cancer is and how best to treat it. Doctors also use a cancer's stage when talking about survival statistics.
The earliest stage oral cancers are called stage 0 (carcinoma in situ), and then range from stages I (1) through IV (4). As a rule, the lower the number, the less the cancer has spread. A higher number, such as stage IV, means cancer has spread more. And within a stage, an earlier letter means a lower stage. Although each person's cancer experience is unique, cancers with similar stages tend to have a similar outlook and are often treated in much the same way.
How is the stage determined?
The staging system most often used for oral cancers is based on 3 key pieces of information:
The extent of the tumor (T): How large is the main (primary) tumor and which, if any, tissues of the oral cavity has spread to?
The spread to nearby lymph nodes (N): Has the cancer spread to nearby lymph nodes?
The spread (metastasis) to distant sites (M): Has the cancer spread to distant organs such as the lungs?
Numbers or letters after T, N, and M provide more details about each of these factors. Higher numbers mean the cancer is more advanced. Once a person's T, N, and M categories have been determined, this information is combined in a process called stage grouping to assign an overall stage.
Cancer prevention is action taken to lower the chance of getting cancer. Hopefully, prevention will lower the number of deaths caused by oral cancer.
But there are things you can do that might prevent oral cancer, including:
Avoid risk factors: Not all cases of oral cancer can be prevented, but the risk of developing these cancers can be greatly reduced by avoiding certain risk factors.
Limit smoking and drinking: Tobacco and alcohol are among the most important risk factors for these cancers. Not starting to smoke is the best way to limit the risk of getting these cancers. Quitting tobacco also greatly lowers your risk of developing these cancers, even after many years of use. The same is true of heavy drinking. Limit how much alcohol you drink, if you drink at all.
Avoid HPV infection: The risk of infection of the mouth and throat with the human papillomavirus (HPV) is increased in those who have oral sex and multiple sex partners.
Limit exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light: Ultraviolet radiation is an important and avoidable risk factor for cancer of the lips, as well as for skin cancer. If possible, limit the time you spend outdoors during the middle of the day, when the sun's UV rays are strongest.
Eat a healthy diet: A poor diet has been linked to oral cavity and oropharyngeal cancers, although it's not exactly clear what substances in healthy foods might be responsible for reducing the risk of these cancers.
Wear properly fitted dentures: Avoiding sources of oral irritation may help lower your risk for oral cancer.
Oral cancer requires expert care and treatment. CAN-C is the best centre for oral cancer treatment in Bangalore.
Different treatments may be used either alone or in combination, depending on the size, stage and location of the tumor. In general, surgery is the first treatment for cancers of the oral cavity, and may be followed by radiation or combined chemotherapy and radiation. The main treatment options for people with oral cancer are:
Radiation is commonly given using techniques that help doctors focus the radiation more precisely, such as such as three-dimensional conformal radiation therapy (3D-CRT) and intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT). These use the results of imaging tests, like MRI, and special computer programs to precisely map the cancer's location. Radiation beams are then shaped and aimed at the tumor from several directions, which makes the treatments less likely to damage normal nearby tissues than older ways of giving external beam radiation. We at CAN -C is the ideal centre for top-quality oral cancer treatment in Bangalore.
2. Brachytherapy: Another way to deliver radiation is by placing radioactive materials right into or near, or inside, the cancer tumor(s) in the body. 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. When brachytherapy is used, it's most often combined with external radiation to treat early lip or mouth cancers. Different types of brachytherapy may be used.
Chemo may be used in several different situations:
Chemo (typically combined with radiation therapy) may be used instead of surgery as the main treatment for some cancers. (This is called chemoradiation.)
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.
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.
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.
The chemo drugs used most often for cancers of the oral cavity and oropharynx are: Cisplatin, Carboplatin, 5-fluorouracil (5-FU), Paclitaxel (Taxol®), Docetaxel (Taxotere®), Hydroxyurea. Other drugs that are used less often include: Methotrexate, Bleomycin, Capecitabine. Here, at Can-C in Bangalore, we provide the best oral cancer treatment.
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. Oral cavity and oropharyngeal cancer cells often have higher than normal amounts of EGFR. 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.
We provide the best targeted therapy oral cancer treatment in Bangalore.
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 oral cancer that has returned after treatment or that has spread to other parts of the body. Pembrolizumab is also an option as the first treatment in some people. These drugs are given as an intravenous (IV) infusion, typically every 2, 3, or 4 weeks.
Nutrition is another important concern for people with oral cancers. Both the cancer and its treatment can make it hard to swallow. If this affects how a person eats or drinks, a feeding tube may be needed. This tube will most likely be needed for a short time during treatment, but in some cases it may need to be left in longer.
Talking about the symptoms you're having lets your doctor give treatments that can relieve the symptoms. Getting treatment that works can help you feel better and let you focus on the things that are important to you.
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