Illustration What You Need To Know About Oral Cancer? | St. Lawrence Dentistry pertaining to Cancerous Sores In Mouth
Mouth Cancer or Oral Cancer – An Introduction
Mouth cancer is a very rare type of cancer in the United States. When a person suffers from mouth cancer, the cancer may be affecting any part of their mouth. That is, mouth cancer can affect the tongue, gums, lips or even the inside lining of the cheeks or the floor or roof of the mouth. This article will explain some important aspects of mouth cancer in more detail.
What are the symptoms of mouth cancer?
Depending on which part of the mouth is affected, mouth cancer patients may exhibit any of the following symptoms. A person may develop a mouth sore that will never heal, even after a long period of time. They might also feel a lump on the inside of their cheeks or might feel that the lining of the cheeks has thickened considerably.
Other symptoms that are indicative of mouth cancer are when a patient experiences pain when they chew or when the move their jaws to speak. One might also have difficulty swallowing any kind of food.
Some patients over look some of the above mentioned results as it is common for some people to experience mouth sores and problems like trouble in swallowing, every now and then. However, the difference between mouth cancer symptoms and common flu like symptoms is that mouth cancer symptoms will last well beyond a period of about two weeks. When symptoms persist for that long, one must make an appointment with a doctor who will be able to determine the presence of mouth cancer.
What tests are used to diagnose mouth cancer?
The doctor will first conduct a physical examination of the patient to look for signs of mouth cancer. This will be followed with the taking of a biopsy sample where the doctor might take a small sample of the tissue that is affected by a lump or pain. The biopsy sample will then be sent to a lab for detection of mouth cancer.
Some other diagnostic methods are also used to check for mouth cancer. Some of those methods are procedures called endoscopies and imaging tests such as MRI, CT scans, PET scans and so on.
If the presence of oral cancer is detected, the lab technicians or the doctors will try to determine the staging of the mouth cancer. Oral cancer has four stages, with stage 1 being the earliest stage of growth and stage 4 being the most advanced stage of growth.
How is mouth cancer treated?
If the cancer is detected or diagnosed at a very early stage, a patient will be able to undergo a rather simple surgery where only the cancerous tumor is removed from the mouth. If the cancer has reached an intermediate level of growth, the doctor might have to remove lymph nodes in the neck area along with the affected tissue in the mouth. Depending on the intensity of the surgery, the doctor or surgeon might have to reconstruct the entire mouth, using muscle and tissue from other parts of the body. A patient might also have to get artificial dentures. Mouth cancer can also be treated with chemotherapy, targeted drug therapies and radiation therapy as well, sometimes in combination with one another.