Oral Cancer Treatment
What is oral cancer?Oral cancer is a growth of tissue that is cancerous. Oral cancer falls under the category of neck and head cancer. Oral cancer may begin in the oral cavity as a lesion, it may be metastasized from another part of the body where the original cancer began, or it may have spread from an area that is very near in the same area. Oral cancer is able to create in any of the mouth tissues. Oral cancer may also be one of four different histological types: adenocarcinoma, melanoma, teratoma, or lymphoma. There are several different types of oral cancer, but the majority of oral cancer is squamous cell carcinoma, that occurs in the lining tissues of the lips and of the mouth. The tongue is also involved in most cases of oral cancer, but occurrence is not limited to the tongue alone, it may occur in other places such as the palate or cheek linings.
How can an individual tell if they have gum disease vs. oral cancer?The most definitive way for an individual to tell if an area in their mouth is gum disease or oral cancer is to see a dentist or an oral surgeon. These professionals deal with oral cancer and will able to assist in a correct diagnosis. Dentists will often take measurements and x-rays, as well as do a thorough physical inspection, which also lends a hand in diagnosis. Biopsies are often taken of the area that is in question, and are a major diagnostic tool in the diagnosis of oral cancer.
Can smoking for a short time be a risk for developing oral cancer?Smoking can be a factor to oral cancer development, however smoking for a very short time would be an unlikely cause. However oral cancer can and has developed without any contributing factors. If an individual is concerned about having smoked a short amount of time causing oral cancer some dentists do offer an oral cancer screening known as Visilite. Even if an individual has no preexisting factors such as chewing tobacco or smoking, it is encouraged to have a cancer screening yearly, which can pick up changes in the tissues of the oral cavity and allow for proper treatment and diagnosis. This can also give those individuals that are concerned a little peace of mind.
What are some treatment options for an individual who has an area that they fear may be oral cancer?If an individual has an area in their mouth that they are worried might be oral cancer the individual will need to make their dentist aware of the area so that one of the following treatments may be undertaken. Some dentist may take a watch and wait approach, by just keeping an eye for any changes to the area. Others may want to do excision biopsy, removing a portion of the area or all of the area and sending it to pathology to see what it is. The use of treatments such as Visilite are most often used in cases that are ongoing, and are being monitored closely for any changes that could be malignant in nature. If the watch and wait approach is taken and a change is noticed, then the next step would be a biopsy.
Often individuals are not aware that they can develop oral cancer either by smoking or a number of factors. Individual may begin to wonder if they are starting to develop oral cancer because of the changes in their mouth. The best approach in order to have a full understanding of oral cancer and their diagnosis is to speak with their dentist. In many cases, individuals do not have a dentist or cannot afford a dentist. These individuals can turn to the Experts for more information pertaining or oral cancer treatment and oral cancer surgery.