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Oral Cancer Treatment
Oral cancer is a form of cancer that occurs in the mouth or throat tissues. It’s part of a broader category of cancers known as head and neck cancers—the majority form in the squamous cells of your mouth, tongue, and lips.
This kind of cancer affects more than 53,000 people in the United States each year, with a larger portion of cases happening in people over 40. The majority of oral cancers are found after they have spread to the lymph nodes in the neck. The approach to beating oral cancer is early diagnosis. Read on to learn about the factors that increase your risk, the stages of the disease, and mouth cancer treatment.
How to Treat Oral Cancer
In this section, we’ll look into the oral cancer treatment options. Oral cancer treatment varies based on the form, place, and stage of cancer at the time of diagnosis. For instance, treatment for mouth cancer in the early stages would be different from gum cancer treatment options.
1. Surgical Procedures
The tumor and cancerous lymph nodes are normally removed during surgery in the early stages. Other tissue around the mouth and neck can also be removed.
2. Radiation Therapy
For two to eight weeks, a doctor will direct radiation beams at the tumor once or twice a day, for five days a week. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy are commonly used in the early stages of cancer treatment.
Chemotherapy is a drug-based medication that kills cancer cells. You may take the drug orally or by an intravenous (IV) line. The majority of patients get chemotherapy as an outpatient, but some do need hospitalization.
4. Targeted Therapy
Another method of therapy is targeted therapy. It can be used to treat cancer in both early and late stages. Drugs used in targeted therapy bind to various proteins on cancer cells and prevent them from growing.
Oral cancer treatment has a focus on nutrition as well. Many medications make eating and swallowing unpleasant or uncomfortable, and reduced appetite and weight loss are typical side effects. Be sure you talk to your doctor about your diet.
A nutritionist will assist you in creating a food menu that is soft on your mouth and throat while also providing your body with the calories, vitamins, and minerals it requires to recover.
6. Mouth Health
Finally, keeping your mouth healthy while undergoing cancer treatment is important. Maintain good oral hygiene by keeping your mouth moist and your teeth and gums clean.
Oral Cancer Symptoms
Following are the symptoms of oral cancer:
- A persistent sore on your lip or mouth
- Anywhere in your mouth, there is a mass or growth
- Your mouth is bleeding, and your teeth are loose
- You are suffering from nausea or trouble swallowing
- Dentures are difficult to wear
- You have a lump in your throat
- A persistent earache
- Weight loss is drastic
- Numbness in the lower lip, face to the neck area, or jaw
- Patches of white, red, and white, or red in or on the mouth or lips
- a cough and a sore throat
- Stiffness or pain in the mouth
- Tongue ache
Oral Cancer Diagnosis
A medical examination will be performed first by the doctor or dentist. If your doctor cannot decide whether you are experiencing symptoms, you could be referred to an ENT specialist. A brush biopsy or a tissue biopsy may be performed if the doctor detects any cancers, growths, or abnormal lesions. Your doctor may perform X-rays, CT scan, PET scan, MRI scan, or an endoscopy.
If you have discovered that you have oral cancer and need support, reach out to All American Hospice today. Our expert caregivers are well-versed in providing help to those with various kinds of cancers, including oral cancer.