Cancer can also affect the oral cavity. The oral cavity is normally referred to as mouth. Cancer, in general, is said to occur when the cells of the associated organ/body portion gets multiplied in an abnormal way. Cancer is only associated with tumors that are malignant.
Medical fraternities are not yet clear as to why these cancers affect oral cavities. However, many risk factors have been identified that can aggravate this condition. Some of these risk factors are mentioned below:
- Excessive consumption of tobacco: Smoking or intake of tobacco products is normally associated with these malignant ulcers.
- Excessive consumption of alcohol: Studies have shown that people who consume alcohol have more likelihood than people who are not in the habit of drinking. Those individuals who intake both alcohol & tobacco are even at greater risk.
- Prolonged exposure to sun: One of the fatal effects of this phenomenon is the presence of lip cancer. Methods like regularly using a lip balm or ointment can decrease the risk of developing this condition.
Reliable findings show that people who are prone to developing neck & head cancer have greater probability of affecting oral cancer.
Some of the symptoms of oral cancer are described below:
Prolonged presence of patches in the mouth: The constitution of these patches vary with composition, colour etc. These patches can be :
- White patches: The presence of white patches is known as leukoplakia. In some cases, these can become malignant.
- The patches that are a mixture of red & white can also affect the persons. The condition of the formation of white patched is known as erythrooleukoplakia. The mixture of these patches is having greater probability in becoming malignant.
- Red patches: The smoothened red patches (erythoplakia) have also considerable amount of probability in becoming cancerous.
The other symptoms include:
- Mouth bleeding.
- Lip sore.
- Neck lump etc.
The diagnosis of this condition is focused on the basis of these abnormalities. Routine procedures like biopsy etc also need to be performed. If this problem is diagnosed, the doctor needs to know the stage to which this condition has progressed. After having a clear understanding of this, the adequate treatment plan is undertaken. The various methods of treatment shall include radiation therapy, surgical procedures and conservative treatment (in initial stages) etc.