Oral cancer is a type of cancer that can affect lips, teeth, lining tissue of lips and cheeks, the front two-thirds of the tongue, the roof of the mouth, gums, and floor of the mouth underneath the tongue. Oral cancer can also spread rapidly to other body parts, this process is known as metastasis.
There are several different symptoms that indicate oral cancer. Contact your dentist if you experience any of the following signs of oral cancer:
There are many various factors that can increase the risk of oral cancer. These include:
According to the National Cancer Institute, oral cancer has four stages:
Chemotherapy is an oral or intravenous mixture of medications designed to kill cancer. These medications can be used for other cancer treatments. Common side effects of chemotherapy include vomiting, hair loss, and nausea.
Surgery is the most common treatment option for patients with mouth cancer. Approximately 56% of oral cancer cases can be treated with surgery alone, depending on the stage.
Targeted therapy involves drugs designed to attach themselves to cancer cells which can stop them from dividing and spreading, halting the invasion of cancer. Targeted therapy can also be combined with chemotherapy and radiation.
Nutrition is a crucial aspect of your cancer treatment. Many people with mouth cancer lose too much weight, possibly due to difficulty chewing or nausea caused by chemotherapy. Your body needs certain nutrients to fight off this disease and strengthen your immune system. Here is a list of things you should do to improve your nutrition and cancer:
Immunotherapy leverages your body’s natural cancer-fighting process: the immune system. When cancer strikes, it can sneak by the immune system by producing certain proteins.
However, immunotherapy interferes with this defense mechanism, allowing your body to fight off cancer. This cancer care is a common recommendation primarily for those who are not responding well to standard treatment.
Detoxification is essential since your body often eliminates toxins you’re exposed to throughout daily life. These include ingredients in some health and beauty products, chemicals in household cleaners, mercury from amalgam fillings, and plastics chemicals. By changing your diet you can help support your body’s normal detoxification pathways.
Mouth reconstruction is needed for people who have lost part of their tongue, teeth, oral cavity, or jawbone due to mouth cancer.
Often skin, muscle, or bone is borrowed from other body parts to restore a healthy mouth. Dental implants may also be required if teeth have been lost during cancer treatment. Rehabilitation after mouth reconstruction can be very long and extensive, and your physical therapists and doctors will help determine the best treatment for you.