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Oral Cancer – Oral Cancer Treatment

Oral Cancer – Oral Cancer Treatment

Oral Cancer

Oral cancers, which are 2 times more common in men than in women, should be examined regularly by a doctor and dentist to detect them early.

Mouth cancers; It includes cancers that occur in the mouth, mostly in the lower lip, back of the throat, tonsils, or salivary glands. The most common regions; base of the mouth and tongue. Almost all; It arises from the mucous membrane lining the mouth, tongue, and lips, and from multilayered squamous epithelial (squamous) cells.

Cancers fall under the specialty of Ear-Nose-Throat and Head-Neck surgeons. Oral cancers are 2 times more common in men than in women.

Oral Cancer Prevention

Avoiding substances that cause cancer such as cigarettes and alcohol,
To undergo regular doctor and dentist examinations,
To treat teeth and prostheses that may cause scarring if present in the mouth.
Oral Cancer Risk Factors
There is no clear scientific explanation as to whether oral cancers occur in some people with similar lifestyles, but not others. However, a known problem is that it is not contagious. So a person cannot get cancer from another person! However, studies show that some factors are effective in cancer formation.

It is the leading cause of almost all oral cancers. The risk is very high for long-term and intensive tobacco and tobacco product users. The risk of oral cancer increases even more in such heavy drinkers, who also have a habit of alcohol. 90 percent of oral cancers are seen in tobacco users.
It is known that smokers encounter it more often than non-smokers. The risk increases in direct proportion to the abundance of alcohol intake.
Sun Rays: Has an important share in lip cancers as in all skin cancers. Its importance is increasing, especially in smokers.
Having a family history of cancer
Family history of cancer, malnutrition, poor living conditions and health problems increase the risk. The risk increases in people who have previously been treated for head and neck cancer and continue to smoke.

In the presence of mouth fractures, pointed prostheses or chronic wounds caused by teeth, and especially in people who continue to smoke, the risk of mouth cancers is extremely high.

Oral Cancer Symptoms

It occurs as white, red-white spots and sores in the mouth and lips. White spots are called ‘leukoplakia’ and are lesions that can show malignant transformation. Red and white spots are called ‘erythroleukoplakia’ and have a higher risk of becoming cancerous.

Sores in the mouth and lips that do not heal
Recurrent bleeding wounds
Unreasonable tooth loss
Difficulty swallowing
Swelling or mass in the neck
Pain on the ear
Diagnostic Methods
As in all cancers, early diagnosis is of vital importance in the treatment of oral and lip cancers. It is useful to have regular doctor and dentist, check-up examinations in order to detect cancer at an early stage.

During the examination, the doctor; If he sees a suspicious wound or swelling in the mouth, tongue, cheeks, gum or floor of the mouth and lips, he / she wants to do a biopsy. The piece of tissue to be taken under local or general anesthesia is examined under a microscope and checked for cancer cells.

If cancer cells are detected, the disease is staged against the spread of the tumor and the possibility of spreading to other organs. For this, new examinations must be made.

To make a treatment plan; Radiological examinations such as direct radiographs, computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging, endoscopic examinations and laboratory tests are required. When oral cavity cancers are diagnosed early, 90 percent recovery is achieved.

Oral Cancer Treatment Methods

Chemotherapy, also known as medicated cancer therapy, uses drugs that prevent the proliferation of cancer cells. Sometimes it is applied together with surgery and radiotherapy. The drugs used in chemotherapy have various side effects. It can have negative effects on the liver and kidneys, albeit temporarily. Therefore, chemotherapy is tried to be used in patients whose liver and kidney functions are not impaired.

Another side effect is the patient’s hair loss. However, this situation is temporary. Hair grows again after treatment. Nausea and vomiting are the most common side effects. These side effects can be accompanied by loss of appetite and weakness. Since chemotherapy drugs will also temporarily weaken the immune mechanism, the patient may become vulnerable to infections. For this reason, it is defined as a type of treatment that should be used very carefully.


It also includes cleaning the lymph nodes if the tumor itself or with neighboring surrounding tissues needs to be removed. Due to eating difficulties, pain treatment may be required for a while after the surgical procedure. In particular, tissue edema and swelling may take several weeks to heal. During this time, difficulties in nutrition can be overcome by applying appropriate diet programs. The team that undertakes the treatment; The patient decides whether to continue with radiotherapy or chemotherapy after surgical recovery.


Basically; It is possible to explain the high-energy rays applied to the mouth and throat area as preventing the spread of cancer by eliminating cancer cells. Radiotherapy doses are determined by considering the size and location of the tumor.

The most common side effects are; Dry mouth, tooth loss, sore throat, bleeding and pain in the gums, delay in oral wounds, local infections, jaw joint stiffness, changes in the sense of smell and taste, mild burns and fatigue on the skin. During the treatment, the patient’s oral care should be done carefully. Against all side effects, the ENT physician can help the patient to overcome the process with an appropriate supportive treatment.