Do you know that oral cancer accounts for roughly a third of all cancer cases and is one of the top three most fatal malignancies worldwide? You may already be aware that tobacco consumption, whether in the form of smoking or chewing, is the cause of many life-threatening ailments such as respiratory disorders, heart issues, and cancer. They also play a major role in the development of head and neck malignancies. According to Dr. Suvadip Chakrabarti, who is regarded to be the best head & neck cancer doctor in Kolkata, the extent to which cancer has devastated our people in India is revealed by statistics, which demonstrate that more than five individuals die from oral cancer every hour, every single day.
Oral cancer – What is It
This type of cancer is found in the mouth and throat tissues and is classified as a head and neck cancer. Its subtypes include malignancies of the lips, tongue, palate, gums, cheeks, and mouth floor. Tobacco use, whether in the form of cigarettes or chewing tobacco, is always a significant risk factor, and combining tobacco with alcohol increases the risk exponentially.
Oral Cancer – What Are the Signs and Symptoms
The following are the most common oral cancer symptoms:
- Patches of red or white colouration in/on the mouth or lips
- Tongue or cheek sores or swelling
- Pain and discomfort upon eating
- Unhealing lesions on the lips and mouth
- Loosened teeth
- A bump in the neck region
- Nausea and numbness in the face and neck
Early diagnosis of cancer findings is critical for better clinical outcomes and finding cures in a large number of people. Regular self-examination is also highly suggested for smokers and tobacco chewers, especially if you notice any symptoms that do not improve with time. Keep an eye out for any strange lumps, spots, or colour changes on the floor of your mouth, tongue, and the insides of your mouth, such as the gums and palate. If any such symptom is discovered and does not disappear after three weeks, please seek advice from a head and neck cancer surgeon in Kolkata.
What are the Different Options for Diagnosis
It begins with a comprehensive physical examination by the surgical oncologist in Kolkata, which includes a thorough inspection of the mouth, tongue, and cheeks for any abnormal growths or tumours. If anything is discovered, a biopsy is recommended to look for malignant cells. Different scans, such as an X-ray, an MRI, a CT scan, a PET scan, or an endoscope, may be used to evaluate other sections of the body and check for cancer spread for a more accurate image. The four phases of oral cancer are as follows:
Stage 1: The cancer has not spread and the tumour is less than 2cm in size
Stage 2: The cancer cells haven’t spread, but the tumour has grown to roughly 2-4cm in size.
Stage 3: The tumour has grown to a size of more than 4 cm and may have migrated to a lymph node
Stage 4: The tumours are enormous, and cancer cells have migrated to adjacent tissues, lymph nodes, or even other body regions.
What are the Treatment Options
The earlier oral cancer is identified, like with most other diseases, the better the chances of survival after treatment. Survival rates are over 80% if discovered in Stages 1 and 2; Stage 3 is roughly 65 percent, while Stage 4 is 30-38 percent. As a result, quick diagnosis and adequate treatment are critical for a successful recovery. According to the cancer specialist in Kolkata, the oral treatment option would be determined by the cancer’s location and stage of diagnosis.
Surgery to remove a tumour is one option for treatment. Patients in later stages may require reconstructive surgery to replace missing bones or tissues, as well as rehabilitative services such as speech therapy to improve their functional abilities.