North Houston Cancer Clinics

Oral Cancer

At North Houston Cancer Clinics, our cancer experts are always available to provide our patients with the best and most effective treatment and diagnosis options. We offer highly advanced tools and techniques for accurately and precisely detecting oral cancer. It will help effectively treat our patients, which is our first concern.

What Is Oral Cancer ?

Oral cancer, also called oral cavity or mouth cancer, is the unusual multiplication of malignant cells in the mouth’s tissues, including the tongue, gums, lips, inner lining of cheeks, floor of the mouth, and roof of the mouth. It has many cases worldwide and has high morbidity and mortality. It usually starts with a slight sore or lesion that does not go away after a few weeks. The disease could also present other signs like persistent ulcers in the mouth, red or white patches on the mouth’s lining, thickening or swelling of cheeks/lips, difficulty swallowing/chewing foodstuffs properly, hoarseness in voice, chronic sore throat, and changes in voice quality.
Oral Cancer Treatments and Management​

Oral Cancer Treatments and Management

Following are some commonly performed treatment methods for oral cancer treatment.

Oral cancer treatment is possible if diagnosed at an early stage. It includes the removal of the tumor with a small portion of healthy tissue for complete excision.

– It may require surgery, especially if extensive resection has taken place.

Radiation Therapy:
High-energy beams can be used alone or in combination with surgery and chemotherapy. They target cancer cells, destroying them or inhibiting their growth. Depending on the tumor’s location and spread, they can be delivered externally (external beam radiation) or internally (brachytherapy).

Chemotherapy can be performed orally or intravenously to kill the cancer cells or restrict their growth and spread. It is often used in combination with radiation therapy (chemoradiation) to enhance oral cancer treatment effectiveness.

It may be recommended before or after surgery and after oral cancer diagnosis to shrink tumors or target residual cancer cells.

Targeted Therapy:
It utilizes drugs or other substances to identify and attack specific molecules or pathways involved in cancer growth. It offers the potential for more precise and less toxic treatment than traditional chemotherapy.

Diagnosis of Oral Cancer

Early diagnosis and detection are essential for successful treatment and a better prognosis for oral cancer. Regular dental checkups, self-examination exams done on your own, and immediate treatment for suspicious symptoms help to find it at its earlier stage, making it easy to treat.

There are several methods used for oral cancer diagnosis, which include: 

Clinical Examination:
Physical Examination: healthcare practitioners inspect inside the mouth, looking at the lips, gums, tongue, cheeks, roof, or floor basically for ulcers or lumps.

Biopsy means removing a small amount of tissue from the mouth or surrounding areas for Examination under a microscope to diagnose oral cancer, whether it contains cancer cells or not.

It is widely used to see a clear image of the inside of your mouth and neck by inserting a tube with a camera.

Oral Brush Biopsy: 

It is a simple method that can be done during your regular dentist visit. The doctor takes a sample from your mouth to observe and detect cancerous cells in the laboratory.

At North Houston Cancer Clinics, our expert staff and doctors use many other methods to diagnose oral cancer accurately.

Diagnosis of Oral Cancer​
Risk Factors & Causes of Oral Cancer​

Risk Factors & Causes of Oral Cancer

Several factors can cause the development of oral cancer. It includes the consumption of alcohol as it affects the surrounding tissues of the mouth and neck. Sun exposure and bad lifestyle with poor hygiene also play their part in developing oral cancer. Chewing tobacco and smoking cigarettes will expose your mouth to cancer cells.

Some Common Causes Include:

Smoking: The process of puffing cigarettes, cigars, or pipes exposes the mouth to dangerous substances responsible for causing oral cancer.

Tobacco: Chewed tobacco, like snuff and chewing tobacco too, can lead to oral cancer after a long time of exposure to harmful elements.

 Alcohol Drinking: Excessive drinking of alcohol over a long period is also a major causative factor, especially when combined with smoking, as in this case, it will increase the chances of getting oral cancer.

Alcohol may irritate the lining of the mouth and make it more vulnerable to carcinogenic effects due to tobacco.

Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Infection: Oral cells are infected through HPV transfer associated with oral sex, which can result in malignancy.

Sun Exposure: Among all parts, the lower lip is most likely prone to lip cancer, while lips are susceptible to the sun’s ultraviolet rays for an extended period.

Poor oral hygiene refers to neglecting essential practices such as regular brushing, which can lead to issues like bad breath.

Frequently Asked Question

You cannot predict the primary cause of oral cancer; expert doctors will give you a prognosis depending on the type of cancer you are experiencing. Some factors include your health history, your medical history, your gender, age, and your test results.
The leading cause of oral cancer is smoking cigarettes and tobacco. People can prevent oral cancers by avoiding active and passive smoking. Quitting smoking and consumption of alcohol affects the prevalence of oral cancer as it reduces the risks of oral cancer.
Common signs and symptoms that help diagnose oral cancer include swelling, redness, and bleeding from the mouth—difficulty in swallowing and the presence of small lumps and tumors in the region of the mouth and neck.
Oral cancer treatment is widespread nowadays. Early detection by expert doctors will help in accurate oral cancer diagnosis. Early detection is possible by examining the mouth and lips of the patients.