The topic of cancer is terrifying and people often avoid talking about it. But it is imperative to have extensive discussions on this topic to increase awareness about one of the deadly diseases encountered by the human race.
There are various kinds of cancers named according to the location of the body where they develop. Oral cancer is one of them.
Oral cancer, also called mouth cancer, is the sixth most prevalent type. It is the condition where a malignant tumor develops in the lining of the oral cavity. Tumors can grow on gums, the lining of the cheeks, palate, lips and the tongue. In severely rare cases, oral cancer can spread to the salivary glands, tonsils and pharynx.
Statistics from oral cancer cases in the US are not very encouraging. According to the projections of the Oral Cancer Foundation, which researches the rate of occurrence of all the previous years, nearly 50,000 US citizens would be diagnosed with oral cancer this year. Out of which, roughly 10,000 will succumb to the fatality of the disease.
These high mortality rates associated with oral cancer is clearly suggesting that we have to educate our citizenry about this deadly tumor in a more extensive manner. In this article, we will shed light on the comprehensive signs, symptoms and different types of oral cancer in order to increase awareness among our readers.
Symptoms of Oral Cancer
Oral cancers can appear with a very wide and diverse range of symptoms. Here, we will discuss them categorically because no symptom of oral cancer should be overlooked.
Symptoms appearing in the lining of the mouth are the most common. Internal signs of oral cancer are:
- Growth of thick and smooth or speckled red and white patches in the oral cavity
- Formation of lumps, sores, bumps with extra swelling and eroded skin inside the oral cavity and lips
- Inexplicable bleeding inside the oral cavity
Oral cancers also show some external signs. Even though they are rare and not necessarily related to the development of a malignant tumor but it is advised to consult your physician or dentist in case you notice any of them.
- Persistent bleeding sores on the facial area and neck which are not healing even after a fortnight
- In some cases, chronic ear pain is also experienced by the patients
- Weight loss is also witnessed in many of the oral cancer patients
Physical symptoms include signs which appear while moving the anatomical features located in and around the facial region.
- One of the signs of oral cancer is a growing difficulty in chewing and swallowing
- Verbal communication also becomes difficult due to immobile tongue and jaws
- Another sign of oral cancer is the altered way of how your teeth fit together
Change in voice, sore throat with difficulty to explain, lack of sensation in facial region and neck can also be the symptoms of developing oral tumor.
Types of Oral Cancer
Every type of mouth cancer is different from the other due to its different phase of development, treatments and mortality rates. Some of the common types of oral cancers are discussed here:
Squamous Cell Carcinoma
The lining of oral cavity and throat is made of squamous cells. Malignant tumor starts to develop when some of these cells undergo abnormal growth. Almost 90 percent of oral cavity tumors belong to this type.
This type of oral cancer occurs with the development of tumor in lymph tissues (tonsils) present at the back of the oral cavity. Tongue gets badly affected in lymphomas.
It is a condition where white patches appear on the tongue. Most of the leukoplakia cases get healed with conventional treatments but there are nearly 25 percent chances of it to transform into a cancerous tumor.
Salivary Gland Carcinoma
Salivary glands are present in the lining of oral cavity and throat. Salivary gland carcinoma happens when these cells start to get replicated in the form of tumors. This type of oral cancer is also called adenocarcinomas.
The above discussion details the conditions and symptoms of oral symptoms. In the next article, we will talk about the treatments and preventive measures for oral cancer.