Food, clothing and shelter are the three things that we work so hard for. But, what if there’s something that prevents us from eating to our heart’s content and threatens to truncate our lives?
If cancers weren’t scary, having oral cancer just took that fear a notch higher.
Good oral health is a route to happy smiles and great overall health. But when oral cancers hit you, it can be the most painful, and life-threatening.
Is it possible to manage life with oral cancers? Or Are there any treatments to our oral rescue? Let’s have an overview of oral oncological treatments.
To start with, there are stages of oral cancers that play a significant role in the treatments for oral cancers. Timely diagnosis is important too. The earlier it is diagnosed, the higher is the chance of survival post the treatment.
What are the stages?
There are four stages of oral cancer. Stages 1 and 2 involve small tumours. In the first two stages, the cancer cells have just erupted, and have not spread to the lymph nodes.
Stages 3 and 4 are advanced stages of cancer. The tumors are much larger, and the cancer cells are spread to the lymph nodes. The cancer cells gradually spread to other parts of the body through the lymph nodes.
Oral cancers can be cured, especially if it is detected at an early stage. Although curing the cancer is the primary goal, preserving the function of the nerves, organs, and tissues that can be affected during the treatment is crucial.
Another important aspect is how the treatment might affect a person’s quality of life, regarding how they feel, look, talk, eat, and breathe post the treatment.
Usually, a team of doctors work together with the patient to chalk out the best treatment plan. This team includes:
- Medical oncologists, who specialise in cancer treatments with drugs and medication.
- Radiation oncologists, who specialise in radiation therapy.
- Surgical oncologists or otolaryngologists, who specialise in treating ear, nose, and throat cancers.
- Maxillofacial prosthodontists, who specialise in corrective surgery of the head and neck.
- Oncology nurses who specialise in the postoperative care of the patient.
There are three primary treatment procedures for oral cancers:
- Oral Oncological Surgery
- Radiation therapy
Surgery: Surgery in oral oncology most often involves the removal of a tumour and a bit of the surrounding healthy tissue. This helps in avoiding the chances of the cancer relapsing. In some cases, the surgery is followed by chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or both if required. Depending on the stage, and type of oral cancer, some people might need more than one surgery to restore the function of the affected tissues.
Radiation therapy: Radiation therapy involves high-energy x-rays or other particles which can destroy cancer cells. A radiation therapy schedule consists of a specific number of sittings given over a set period.
Chemotherapy: In chemotherapy, certain drugs are given to destroy cancer cells. These drugs reduce the ability of cancer cells to grow and spread.
Chemotherapy can also be given in combination with radiation therapy, called concomitant radiochemotherapy. This combination can sometimes control the growth of tumours and is more effective than the singular treatment that is usually done. However, the side effects of combining two treatments may at times be worse.
With the hope that you are reading this article, we only wish you keep cancers away. Oral health is an integral part of life and must not be ignored.
Ignorance can cause you trouble, and cost you double.
About Dr. Gowtham Kattamuri
Dr. Gowtham has done his BDS from Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences in 2006 and MDS – Conservative Dentistry & Endodontics from Dr. MGR Medical University in 2010. He is a skilled Endodontist with an experience of over 10 years. Dr. Gowtham is specialized in replacement of teeth, Dental Implants, prosthetics for maxillofacial defects such as artificial eye, ear, nose and orbital defects, Smile Makeovers with laminates, Zirconia, veneers metal free ceramics. He also performs general dental procedures such as restorations and extractions. He also is trained as an International Patient Coordinator.
ABOUT THE CLINIC:
GA Dental Clinics is a standout amongst the all the famous dental hospitals in Hyderabad, owing to the world class infrastructure it has, and the utility of leading edge technology at the clinic. Besides its unique infrastructure and highly qualified specialists, GA Dental believes in delivering services at par with global standards.