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Palate Cancer

Palate Cancer Causes

There is no specific cause of palate cancer; however, smoking or excessive tobacco use has been identified as a major risk factor.

Palate Cancer Definition

Palate cancer pertains to a rare type of cancer affecting the roof of the mouth. The word ?palate? pertains to the roof of the mouth which has a bony portion in the front (this part is called ?hard palate?) and a muscular portion at the back (this is known as the ?soft palate?).

Palate Cancer Diagnosis

A medical history and a physical exam are the first basis for diagnosis. When palate cancer is suspected, a biopsy may be taken from areas with abnormalities for laboratory analysis. In addition, imaging procedures such as X-rays, computer tomography (CT) scans, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans, ultrasounds, and PET scans also help in diagnosis.

Palate Cancer Symptoms and Signs

The most common sign of palate cancer is a painful swelling in the roof of the mouth. The pain and swelling frequently manifest alongside: the appearance of a distinctive lump; dysphagia; difficulty or pain in swallowing; mouth ulcers; night sweats; and unintended weight loss.

Palate Cancer Treatment

Treatment options for palate cancer include: surgical removal of the cancer; radiation therapy; chemotherapy; and, in some cases, microsurgery and rehabilitation surgery. Rehabilitation will usually consist of speech therapy as well as physical and occupational therapy.

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