oral cancer

Oral Cancer – All you need to know!

Oral cancer is cancer that develops uncontrollable tissues in the mouth or throat. It is also known as mouth cancer. Oral cancer is divided into two categories depending upon the occurrence. If it is occurring in the oral cavity such as lips, cheeks, teeth, gums, etc., and those occurring in the oropharynx that is the middle region of the throat, including tonsils and base of the tongue. Oral cancer is grouped in the category of head and neck cancers. Sometimes oral cancer leads to head or neck cancer.

Symptoms of oral cancer

Some of the most common symptoms of oral cancer are

  • Mouth Pain.
  • Ear Pain.
  • Over bleeding in the mouth.
  • Sore throat or change in voice.
  • Difficult in swallowing.
  • Development of white and red patches inside your mouth that doesn’t heal.

Reasons for developing oral cancer

  • The common and main reason for oral cancer is tobacco and tobacco-related products such as cigars, cigarettes, chewing tobacco, etc.
  • Consuming large amounts of alcohol also leads to it.
  • Poor Nutrition
  • Genetic Syndromes
  • Weak immune system
  • Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)

How to diagnose oral cancer

If you have the above symptoms then consult a dentist, they will perform some physical exam. This also includes a keen examination of the roof and floor of the mouth, back of your throat, tongue, cheeks, lymph nodes, etc. If there is no problem it’s fine if not they will perform some tests to confirm it. If dentists find any tumors or growths then they’ll perform some tests like

Brush biopsy or Tissue biopsy: In this test, they will collect the cells on the tumor to find out whether they are cancer cells or not

If the oral cancer is confirmed then the doctor will perform some other tests

  • X –Rays to see the spread of the cancer cells to jaws, chest, etc
  • CT Scan to know whether there are any other tumors inside the mouth, throat, lungs, etc
  • PET Scan to determine if cancer cells are present in any other organs
  • MRI Scan to show accurate images of the head and neck and to know the stage of cancer

Stages of Oral Cancer

Generally, there will be four stages in this type of cancer

Stage 1: Tumor is small and didn’t spread to lymph nodes

Stage 2: The size of the tumor is medium and didn’t spread to lymph nodes

Stage 3: Tumor size is large and it may or may not spread to lymph nodes but not spread any other parts.

Stage 4: Size of tumor doesn’t matter in this stage but the spread of cancer cells is more that is nearby tissues or lymph nodes or other parts of the body. 

According to National Cancer Institute if oral cancer is diagnosed in the early stages (Stage 1 & Stage 2) survival rate is 70 to 90%. If it is diagnosed in stage 3 then the survival rate is 60 to 70%. Cancer is diagnosed in the last stage then the survival rate is 30 to 40%. It is only possible by taking treatment regularly and taking safety measures given by doctors.


There are many treatments of oral cancer depending upon the type, location, stage of cancer, and also patient’s health condition, etc.

Chemo Therapy: In this treatment, patients are given some drugs that kill cancer cells. These may be given to patients either orally or through an intravenous line. 

There are some side effects while taking chemotherapy they are

  • Fatigue
  • Nausea & Vomiting
  • Hair loss
  • Weakens immune System

Radiation Therapy: In this treatment, a radiation beam is aimed at the tumor so that it will reduce the size of the tumor. It is given once a day for five days a week. It may vary from two weeks to eight weeks depending on the size of the tumor. In advanced stages, the doctor suggests radiation therapy and chemotherapy.

Some side effects while taking radiation therapy are

  • Fatigue
  • Skin reactions such as burns
  • Bleeding jaws
  • Tooth decay
  • Mouth sores

Surgery: It is the best treatment for people who are in the early stages. Doctors will perform surgery to remove the tumors. They may also remove some tissues near the mouth and neck in some cases for no future spread. Surgery may involve removing some part of the tongue, lymph nodes, etc depending on the location of the tumors

In this treatment, there might not side effects but there are some changes in their ability to talk and eat. These will reduce few days.


There are no particular preventive methods for oral cancer. Even though some factors reduce the risk. They are 

  • Don’t smoke or use tobaccos related products if you have this habit then stop it.
  • Drink alcohol in moderation.
  • Eat a well-balanced diet.
  • Visit your dentist at least twice a year.

Keeping your mouth healthy and regular visits to the dentist will help you prevent and reduce the risk of getting oral cancer. Sky Dental hospital in Vijayawada provides high-quality dentistry & also artistic skills that can improve a person’s health, smile, and confidence. Sky Dental Provides services like Gum Treatment, Implants, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Full mouth Rehabilitation and much more. Apart from this, there is a separate ward for any dental problems related to Children.

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