Individuals with oral cancer often present too late for cure and some may not benefit from treatment. Three treatment options are possible:
Active palliative care
Supportive care only pending death
If cure is attempted, the highest chances of success are given by multimodality treatment – a combination of surgery, radiotherapy, and more rarely, chemotherapy. The most aggressive treatment that the individual is able to withstand will be recommended because if the first round of treatment fails, the chances of survival are much reduced. Continue reading →
Investigations are done to see the extent of cancer and to confirm the diagnosis. The following investigations may be indicated:
Jaw radiography or x-ray
Chest x-ray or computed tomography (CT). This is important as a pre-anesthetic check especially in individuals with known airways disease, and to demonstrate second primary tumors or spread to lungs or lymph nodes, ribs or vertebrae.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or CT of the primary site, of the head and neck, and suspected sites of distant spread. MRI is particularly useful to determine tumor spread, soft tissue involvement and lymph nodes involvement.
Blood test: full blood picture and hemoglobin, blood for grouping and cross-matching, urea and electrolytes, and liver function tests.
Biopsy. Biopsy is a tissue sample taken for histopathological analysis and it gives confirmative diagnosis. Continue reading →
This is often associated with speckled leukoplakias and such lesions are particularly prone to undergo cancerous transformation, though the role of candidal or yeast infection in malignant transformation must be regarded as uncertain. Continue reading →
Paan chewing is one of the most widespread habits in the world and is practiced by over 200 million people worldwide. It is particularly common in South-East Asia and the Indian subcontinent and is also prevalent within these ethnic communities in parts of the USA. The composition of the quid varies but basically consists of betel nut and slaked lime wrapped in a betel leaf to which tobacco and various spices are often added. The quid is usually placed in the cheek pockets and is frequently kept in the mouth for a long time. As the quid is chewed, alkaloids are released from the nut and the tobacco which are said to aid digestion and to produce a slight euphoric effect. The habit is more common in women than in men, and although the frequency of use increases with age the habit often starts in childhood. Continue reading →
Oral cancer is the sixth most common cancer reported worldwide. Oral cancer affects twice as many men as in women. For every 100,000 people, 6.3 males and 3.2 females are likely to develop mouth cancer. However this difference is less than it has been in the past, partly due to changes in smoking habits. Continue reading →
A giant cell tumor is one that is made up of a large number of benign (non-cancerous) cells that form an aggressive tumor. Also called peripheral giant cell granuloma, it usually forms as a response to trauma or some chronic inflammatory process.
Management: Surgical removal of tumor and removal of possible causative factors to avoid reoccurrence. Continue reading →
Lumps and swelling in the mouth is common and easily detected by our tongue. Most would choose to ignore them but some would examine their mouths out of curiosity and some through fear (perhaps of the thought of ‘mouth cancer’). Many different conditions may present as oral lumps and swellings so try not to jump into any conclusions until you get a confirmation from your dentist.
Healthy gums are firm, pale pink, scalloped around each tooth with sharp knife edge ends in between the adjacent teeth. Although “coral pink” or “salmon pink” is the color indication for healthy gums in textbooks, racial pigmentation caused by melanin can make the gums appear darker. Mainly seen in African or Asian heritage, it can be seen in individuals of Mediterranean descent or even sometimes in light-skinned people. Due to the fact that gum color can vary between people, the uniformity of color is of more importance than the actual color itself. However if your gums are in other colors like red, white or black, they can indicate gum inflammation (gingivitis) or pathology. Continue reading →