Oral cancer is a disease that is easy to diagnose and detect early, but because it is subjective, even confused with mouth ulcers, patients are often treated when it is too late.
Mr. T.V.N (40 years old) was hospitalized in a state of infected tongue, stiff, unable to speak.
At first, he only had heat, mouth ulcers, thought he was hot, so he took herbal medicine, traditional medicine, and ate cool food, but it still did not decrease. At the hospital, he discovered that he had tongue cancer, had to completely remove his tongue and undergo radiation therapy.
According to doctors, early-stage oral cancer has little burning sensation, discomfort or burning pain, patients often mistakenly think it is a canker sore, so they are subjective and do not go to the doctor.
It was only when the lesions spread, the ulcers did not heal and many symptoms such as difficulty eating, swallowing, bleeding, earache, and lymph nodes in the neck appeared, that the oral cavity tumors were too large.
Oral cancer includes: lips (upper, lower, margins), maxillary gums, mandibular gums, intermaxillary fissures, tongue, buccal mucosa and floor of the mouth. If treated in stages 1 and 2, the 5-year survival rate can be up to 85%.
However, when the tumor has spread widely, with lymph node metastasis, this rate drops to less than 50%.
Experts also warn that even if the patient is surgically removed the tumor, radiation therapy is also very likely to recur or appear secondary cancer, so it is very important to periodically monitor after the treatment process.
Oral cancer is the 6th most common cancer in the world, 4th among male cancers and 8th among female cancers.
Smoking and alcohol are the two leading causes of oral cancer. People who have a habit of chewing betel nut and flossing are prone to cancer of the inner cheek.
Smoking is the leading causes of oral cancer
Long-term exposure to UV rays in the sun, especially in light-skinned people, is susceptible to DNA damage in skin cells that causes cancer. Poor oral hygiene, improper dentures easily lead to mucosal irritation causing cancer.
According to Dr. Khanh Duy, patients should immediately go to a specialist for examination if the following signs appear:
- Ulcers that do not heal after 2 weeks.
- Scleroderma lesions, broccoli-like buds in the mouth.
- White/red/black patches in mouth, tooth extraction socket that doesn't heal
- Loose teeth for no apparent reason.
- Functional obstacles: difficulty chewing, difficulty speaking, increased salivation.
Patients can also detect signs of oral cancer by themselves when they see an abnormally firm and large swelling in the lips, mouth, and throat that is detected through a mirror or touching.
Manifestations of oral cancer
Ulcers appear in the mouth that are fixed in one place, do not heal or tend to spread, even with the use of conventional medicines for 2-3 weeks.
Pain is indescribable, sharp, dull pain, pain is not clear; choking, choking, trouble swallowing or swallowing, unusual hoarseness, strange voice changes, weight loss, fatigue...