Oral cancer includes cancers of the jaw, tongue, cheek lining, gums, or even the palette. Almost 90% of them fall into a single category, but that doesn’t really soften the blow of the prospect.
They include the following:
- Persistent, non-healing sores or ulcers in the mouth or on the face
- Sudden looseness of teeth with no apparent cause
- Development of abnormal patches in the mouth
- Pain swallowing, chewing and speaking
- Lumps on neck
- Discoloration within the mouth
Some groups are at higher risk for development. Smokers, heavy drinkers, and people with an HPV infection are among the common causes in the first world. In third world countries, it accounts for a significant percentage of all cancers, which is said to be contributed to by the practices of chewing aceta nuts and betel leaves, often in combination with tobacco.
Pretty much anyone can contract it, though, unfortunately. So it’s a good idea to keep an eye out for the above symptoms and see a local doctor in Singapore at the first opportunity if they occur.
For anything which has become too large for a simple excision surgery, the treatments become much more intrusive. Most frequently, radiation or chemotherapy are applied in conjunction with invasive surgery techniques.
The technique applied depends on where the disease is located, but can include removal of the tongue, removal of part or all of the jaw bone, and other drastic measures.
Unfortunately, due to the lack of awareness of the disease it quite often isn’t caught until much later stages, at which point the survival rate in five years lowers to 57% when all other factors are controlled.
It’s not necessarily a death sentence, but it’s important to be aware of your mouth and throat’s health in order to make sure that the disease can be caught at the earliest stages.
It’s definitely something to keep an eye out for, early diagnosis and treatment is the best way to reduce the lethality of this deadly sickness.