How do dental professionals identify oral cancer stages? As patients, what are the symptoms that we can look into to tell if it’s oral cancer? In reality, the classification of oral cancer is quite tricky. For this reason, you better contact your dentist immediately if you noticed unusual conditions in your oral health.
Cancer is the growth of cells in an uncontrollable manner. As a result, it will invade and cause damage to its surrounding tissues. Furthermore, it does not quickly go away and can be life-threatening later on if neglected.
Oral cancer can include cancers in the following:
- mouth’s floor
- the hard and soft palate
Any of the mentioned above needs proper diagnosis and immediate treatment. Progression on this condition may put a person’s life at high risk and danger.
Identifying oral cancer stages
Identifying the stage of oral cancer is essential before doctors can decide about the treatment options. Every stage level requires different levels of treatment as well. For this reason, cancer doctors should arrive with a correct diagnosis of the cancer stage. This way, they can also prepare the appropriate treatment plan for the patient. Your dentist might be able to detect signs of mouth cancer. One of South Brisbane’s finest, CP Dental, state it is crucial to have an oral check up twice a year.
Cancer doctors will do various diagnostic tests to assess oral cancer. There are several aspects to look into so that the treatment options will match the patient’s exact condition. Staging oral cancer uses the TNM approach, which has three components.
T (Tumor): It represents the original size of the tumor.
N (Node): It indicates that cancer already affected the lymph nodes.
M (Metastasis): Cancer spread out to other parts of the body.
Additionally, they also indicate a number (0-4) or the letter X to each of the components above. The higher the number signifies the increasing severity of cancer, while the letter X means the information is hard to assess.
Cancer stage level
Below states how each level differs from one another.
It signifies that cancer has only maintained its growth in the outermost layer of tissue in the oral cavity. The oral cavity is the other term referring to the mouth when discussing oral cancer. Stage 0 or carcinoma in situ oral cavity is the beginning of the potential development of cancer.
In this stage, the original tumor is 2cm across or slighter and found no cancer cells in other locations inside the body and nearby structures. The patient has a perfect chance of survival in this cancer stage.
In this stage, the tumor is 2 cm but no more than 4cm across in measurement. But still, no cancer cells in other locations inside the body and nearby structures. The chance of survival is still excellent for this stage.
This stage level can mean any of the following:
- The oral tumor is outsized than 4cm across, and no cancer cells in other locations inside the body and nearby structures.
- The oral tumor is in any size, but no cancer cells grow into nearby structures or distant sites. However, there are cancer cells in one lymph node at the same side of the primary tumor. Additionally, it is smaller than 3cm across.
Stage 4 cancer level falls into three categories indicated as IVA, IVB, and IVC. Each class has different conditions in terms of size, location of the tumor, and its spread sites.
On the other hand, you can consider watching the video below to understand further the staging of oral cancer using the TNM approach.
Recurrent oral cancer
Treatment options for oral cancer
In selecting the treatment method for oral cancer, doctors consider the following factors:
- Oral cancer’s type
- Primary tumor’s size and location
- The spread level of cancer cells
- Patient’s general health
- Patient’s age
Oral cancer is often curable, which means symptoms are controllable, and the reduction of spread is possible. It would be best to have a meeting with your doctor to discuss the treatment choices available. Thoroughly understanding your situation will help you cope up with it and choose the best plan for you.
Treating oral cancer
- Surgery: This treatment applies to the early stages of oral cancer. The doctor will remove the tumor and cancerous lymph nodes. Aside from that, it also possible that they will remove other tissues around your mouth and neck.
- Radiation therapy: The doctors will use radiation beams. They will aim these beams at the tumor several times within two to eight weeks.
- Chemotherapy: In this treatment method, it involves drugs that kill cancer cells. Doctors give the medicine either orally or through the intravenous line.
- Immunotherapy: It is an effective treatment method in both the early and advanced stages. This method will use the immune system to fight cancer cells. It works by binding to particular proteins on cancer cells and interfere with their growth.
As you can see, there are ways to cure cancer in the oral cavity. You only have to be completely aware of your oral health condition. It would be best to apply oral cancer treatment methods at its earliest stage to prevent it from progressing severely.
Your health condition is essential. Some treatments may cause you difficulty or pain while eating or swallowing. Furthermore, you may also experience a loss of appetite and weight loss. In this case, you have to discuss this with your doctor. A good diet plan is necessary to maintain the level of nutrients your body needs.
Generally speaking, you have to keep your mouth healthy at all costs. Keeping your teeth and gums clean is essential. Click on this URL: Sandstonepointdental.com.au and read how to adopt a daily oral care routine.