Cancer is the uncontrolled growth of the cells that usually invade the nearby cells and cause destruction. Oral cancer is a growth occurring in the mouth. Usually, it appears as a sore that does not go away. Oral cancer can include cancers of the tongue, lips, throat sinuses, hard and soft palate, floor of the mouth, and cheeks. If left untreated, it could turn life-threatening.
Cost and prognosis of the disease
When treated the prognosis is quite good, especially if you detect the disease early. You can get treatment from one of the best hospitals in the metropolitan cities in India. The low oral cancer surgical cost in India is one of the reasons for the influx of foreign patients to India. Also, the wonderful support infrastructure in the form of the nurses and paramedics makes it a great place for getting treatment. The cost of the treatment in India is 3,200 USD on an average. In the US, the cost averages 35,000 USD.
Signs of cancer
To detect the disease, one must become familiar with the signs of cancer. The common symptoms of oral cancer include the following:
- Swellings, lumps, bumps, rough spots, erosions inside the mouth on the lips and gums.
- Patches develop that are velvety white, red, or speckled.
- Persistent sores on the neck, mouth, and face that do not heal within 20 days.
- Unexplained numbness in the region of the mouth, neck, or face or loss of tenderness or feeling.
- Bleeding occurs in the mouth without any reason.
- A chronic sore throat, change in the voice, or hoarseness.
- Difficulty in chewing, swallowing, moving the jaw, or speaking.
- Soreness as if you have something caught in the back of the throat.
- Increased and unexplained loss of weight.
- Change in the shape of your gums.
The risk factors for developing cancer of the mouth include the following:
- Smoking in any form – pipe, cigar, or cigarette is six times more likely to cause cancer than if you did not smoke.
- Over-consumption of alcohol – Drinkers are six times more likely to develop the disease than non-drinkers.
- Exposure to the sun – if one remains exposed to the sun excessively especially when one is young, the chances of getting the disease is more.
- Users of snuff, chewing tobacco, or dip are 50 times more likely to develop cancer.
- People who have a family history of cancer.
- Human papillomavirus (HPV) – Specific types of the virus strain are likely to increase the chances of getting cancer.
Prognosis for the cancer patients
The survival rate of patients with cancer of the mouth or pharynx is 82% with the five-year survival rate being 57% and the ten-year survival rate at 42%. Given the low mouth cancer surgery cost in India and expertise of the doctors, most of the patients are eager to begin the treatment in India. Indeed, if one were to begin treatment fast, the chances of complete recovery increases. You treat oral cancer with radiation therapy followed by chemotherapy to destroy those cancer cells that remain.
The chances that a man will develop oral cancer are twice that of the woman getting cancer. Men over 50 face a greater risk of getting oral cancer.