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Oral And Throat Cancer

Oral And Throat Cancer Causes

Although the specific cause of oral and throat cancer is not known, there are certain risk factors involved. Smoking tobacco has been identified as the most common trigger of oral and throat cancer because it damages the oral cavity and upper throat. Other risk factors are: excessive consumption of alcohol, chronic denture irritation, prolonged UV light exposure, leukoplakia, erythroplakia, and human papillomavirus (HPV) infections.

Oral And Throat Cancer Definition

Oral and throat cancer is a type of cancer affecting the mouth, lips, tongue, gums, salivary glands, and a portion of the throat behind the mouth. It is also alternatively called oropharyngeal cancer.

Oral And Throat Cancer Diagnosis

A biopsy is often required to diagnose oral and throat cancer. In addition, X-rays, CT scan, or ultrasound may also be done.

Oral And Throat Cancer Symptoms and Signs

An initial sign of oral and throat cancer is a distinct change in the appearance or sensation of the soft tissues of the patient's mouth. In addition, affected individuals may experience soreness in their mouth which doesn't heal, but rather, increases in size. Patches or lumps may also appear inside the mouth. Patients may have difficulty swallowing, chewing, or moving their tongue or jaw. Other indicative signs include: persistent pain in the mouth, pain around the teeth, tongue numbness, voice changes, neck lumps, and bad breath.

Oral And Throat Cancer Treatment

Surgical intervention is often necessary to completely remove the cancerous tissue. The type of surgery will depend on the location and extent of the tumor. If the cancer has not spread, the tumor or tumors can be easily removed. However, if the cancer has spread, the procedure becomes more extensive. In some cases, part of the tongue, part of the throat, or bone tissue from the jaw or mouth, may have to be surgically removed. Post surgery, the patient may require feeding devices to aid in nutrition, or prosthetics to replace the removed portions of the mouth. Some patients may also opt for reconstructive surgery. Radiation therapy and chemotherapy are also used to treat oral and throat cancer.

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