Oral cancer always reminds us of Mukesh- The famous boy who kickstarts our movies in Indian Cinema Halls. It seems gross but trust me, there are enough people suffering on EARTH! (And we don’t know who is next) We are the second largest tobacco consumers of the world, addicted enough to top the list soon!
Cancer seems to be knocking at every door- regardless of age, gender, location, dietary preference, medical history etc. While I refuse to claim the exact nature, cause or solution for cancer (Cancer is outgrowing enough minds at work), but understanding possible contributing factors will enable us in leading a better lifestyle.
Definitive diagnosis is always done by taking a biopsy of affected site and squamous cell carcinoma remains the commonest type encountered. The course of treatment depends on the extent of lesion and stage of diagnosis.
TYPICAL PRESENTATION OF ORAL CANCER
While early stages are largely asymptomatic, it may remain silent for ages or spread rapidly and typically present with some of the following:
- Non healing long standing ulcers
- Raised velvety white, red or mixed patch inside cheek region of the mouth
- Difficulty in mouth opening and chewing
- Difficulty in speaking, swallowing, tongue movement
- Unexplained persistent pain or numbness in mouth
- Frequent bleeding/soreness in the mouth
- Lumpy feeling in throat
- Raised hard crusty appearance on tongue, lip, cheek etc.
- Constant pain in ears for no obvious reason
- Teeth mobility without any explanation
- Bad smell from mouth
- Hoarseness of voice
FEW OBVIOUS CULPRITS
TOBACCO: Tobacco consumption in any form like smoking cigarette, cigar, pipe, sheesha, vap or chewing tobacco increases your susceptibility to oral cancer.
ALCOHOL: Frequent and excessive alcohol usage is detrimental for you in every aspect including mouth cancer. Alcohol in conjunction with tobacco usage in any form is simply lethal!
DAMAGED TOOTH: A painless broken tooth may have a rough pointed area traumatizing the tongue frequently. Non healing lesions can translate into cancerous growth and involve significant portion of the tongue and adjoining areas. Never neglect your oral hygiene!
HPV: HUMAN PAPPILOMA VIRUS is one of the most common sexually transmitted viral infections. HPV 16 strain is mainly responsible for oral cancer and involves the base of the tongue, tonsils, soft palate and throat.
SUN EXPOSURE: Global warming and depleting ozone layer is increasing the chances of skin cancer including the lip. Always use a sunscreen lotion and lip balm before stepping out in the sun.
GENETICS: If you have family history of cancer or already had a previous head and neck tumor, you are definitely in high risk zone!
While chasing all that you aspire in life, never stop LIVING for yourself. Stay motivated enough to avoid any form of addiction, eat healthy home cooked balanced diet, sleep well, meditate daily and remain positive to fight against all odds.
A DENTIST will always reiterate the importance of regular dental visits because we are trained to spot anomalies early! Cancer survival typically depends on the stage of detection and prompt management. Dental Panache in Gurgaon would love to be your dental health partner in all times to come.