Mouth cancer interchangeably used with oral cancer is the most common cancer of the neck. The course of the disease is poorly characterized and people are unaware of its growth. The survival rate of people with mouth cancer is poor as they are unaware of growing cancer until it reaches the final stages. Moreover, the survival rate of people with cancer also depends on specific factors like the stage of cancer when it was detected, location of cancer and the age of the person. The survival rate of people with untreated cancer is 30% (approx.) and for a period of five years, whereas the survival rate gets reduced to 12% for people with untreated Stage 4 mouth cancer.
Let’s have a quick glance at the Stages of Mouth Cancer:
Stage 1: The tumor has not spread to the lymph nodes, and the tumor size is less than or equal to 2 cm.
Stage 2: The tumor grows between 2-4 cm but has spread to the lymph nodes
Stage 3: The tumor spreads to one of the lymph nodes, and the size of the tumor grows larger than 4 cm.
Stage 4: The tumor develops of any larger size (more than 4 cm) and gets spread to the lymph nodes and other surrounding organs,
The lips, two-thirds of the tongue, the inner lining of the cheeks, gums, hard palate, soft palate, pharynx, and sinuses are all places where mouth cancer can occur. Head and neck cancers are a subcategory of this type of cancer.
Few common symptoms of mouth cancer:
- Lumps or bumps, rough places, eroded areas, swellings, and thickening on gums,
- Unusual bleeding from the mouth.
- Weight loss that is unexplained.
- Sores on the neck, mouth, or face that do not heal in two weeks or bleed profusely.
- Voice change, hoarseness, and a severe sore throat.
- Speaking, moving the tongue or jaw, eating, or swallowing becomes difficult.
- Velvety red, white, or red and white patches appear inside the mouth.
If you see any of the above symptoms, you should see your dentist or a doctor right once. A thorough assessment and treatment are necessary to treat mouth cancer. The mouth cancer treatment cost in India goes somewhere around 2.5 lac INR to 5 lac INR approx.
Risk Factors For Mouth Cancer
Oral cancer risks are twice as high in men as they are in women. Men over the age of 50 are at the greatest risk of having oral cancer. The following are some of the most common mouth cancer risk factors:
- People who smoke have a six-times higher chance of getting mouth cancer than those who do not. As a result, the most common causes of mouth cancer are cigarettes or cigars.
- Alcoholics are more likely to acquire oral cancer than those who don’t drink.
- Chewing tobacco, snuff are more likely to develop mouth cancers such as cheek cancer, gum cancer, and cancer of the lips’ lining.
- Human Papillomavirus (HPV) strains are risk factors for Oropharyngeal Squamous Cell Carcinoma.
What Are The Treatment Options For Mouth Cancer?
Oral cancer treatment depends on the location, stage, and kind of cancer.
- Surgery: If the oral cancer is still in its early stages, doctors may recommend surgery to remove the tumor and prevent it from spreading to other regions of the body.
- Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy kills cancer cells by administering medications orally or through an intravenous (IV) line.
- Radiation Therapy: It is a type of treatment that uses radiation beams that are targeted on the tumor once or twice a day. At later stages of cancer, a combination of radiation treatment and chemotherapy are used.
- Targeted Treatment: Drugs are used in this therapy to attach to cancer cells’ particular proteins and stop them from growing.