Oral cancer

Other names: Mouth cancer

DEFINITION

Mouth cancer refers to Cancer that develops in any of the parts that make up the mouth. Mouth cancer can occur on the:

Cancer that occurs on the inside of the mouth is sometimes called oral Cancer or oral cavity Cancer. Mouth cancer is one of several types of Cancer grouped in a category called Head and neck cancers. Mouth cancer and other Head and neck cancers are often treated similarly.

SYMPTOMS

Signs and symptoms of Mouth cancer may include:

When to see a doctor: Make an appointment with your doctor or dentist if you have any persistent signs and symptoms that bother you and last more than two weeks.

CAUSES

Mouth cancer occurs when cells on your lips or in your mouth develop changes (mutations) in their DNA. These mutations allow Cancer cells to grow and divide when healthy cells would die. The accumulating Mouth cancer cells can form a Tumor.

RISK FACTORS

Factors that can increase your risk of Mouth cancer include:

PREPARING FOR YOUR APPOINTMENT

Make an appointment with your doctor or dentist if you have signs or symptoms that worry you. Be well prepared for your appointment by considering the following: 1. Be aware of any pre-appointment restrictions. 2. Write down any symptoms you're experiencing. 3. Write down key personal information. 4. Make a list of all medications. 5. Consider taking a family member or friend along. 6. Write down questions to ask your doctor.

QUESTIONS

  1. What are some common symptoms of mouth cancer?

A sore that doesn't heal, tongue pain, difficulty swallowing, etc.

  1. What are some risk factors for developing mouth cancer?

Tobacco use, heavy alcohol consumption, HPV infection, excessive sun exposure to lips.

  1. How is mouth cancer diagnosed?

Through physical exams, tissue biopsies, and imaging tests.

  1. What are the stages of mouth cancer?

Stages are indicated using Roman numerals I through IV based on tumor size and spread.

  1. What are some treatment options for mouth cancer?

Surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, targeted drug therapy.

  1. How can one reduce the risk of developing mouth cancer?

By avoiding tobacco use, limiting alcohol consumption, eating a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables, protecting lips from sun exposure.

  1. Can complementary or alternative medicine cure mouth cancer?

No, but they may help cope with side effects of treatment.

  1. What lifestyle changes can help during treatment for fatigue?

Exercise, massage therapy, relaxation techniques.

  1. How can patients cope with the uncertainty of a new diagnosis?

By learning about their condition, connecting with other survivors, taking time for themselves, and seeking support from friends and family.

  1. Why is early detection important in treating mouth cancer?

Early detection can lead to more effective treatment outcomes and higher chances of survival.