Oral Cancer Stages , Early-stage cancers without symptoms
Generally speaking, oral cancer is divided into two stages, early stage and advanced stage. There are cases where the early stage cancers do not have any symptoms and may spread to the regional lymph nodes in the neck. These are the cases which can be treated by a combination of medicines and surgeries.
Early-stage cancers without symptoms
Having early-stage oral cancer without symptoms is not uncommon. About 53,000 Americans will be diagnosed with the disease in 2019. The average age at diagnosis is 62. The 5-year survival rate is about 84%. It can also occur in younger people. Fortunately, it is treatable with surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy.
Depending on the location and stage of the cancer, the outlook is different. A complete cure is possible with a combination of surgery and radiotherapy.
In addition to treating the cancer, doctors and dentists may also recommend tests to check for the disease. This includes head and neck examination, endoscopy, and a biopsy. These tests help to determine the stage of the disease.
The size of the primary tumor is considered the most important indicator of the prognosis. Similarly, the size of the local lymph nodes is a major factor in determining the stage.
Several factors contribute to the development of oral cancer. Some of these include tobacco use, smoking, and poor diet. Other lifestyle factors are related to personal choices, such as alcohol consumption.
Early-stage cancers that spread to the regional lymph nodes in the neck
Surgical management of cervical lymph nodes is important in patients with early stage oral squamous cell carcinoma. The incidence of metastatic deposits in these nodes is largely dependent on the size and location of the primary lesion and the local extension of the cancer. The tumor size is the most important prognostic indicator. Surgical removal of cervical lymph nodes has also been found to decrease the recurrence of metastatic disease.
Among the most controversial issues in the treatment of head and neck cancer is whether or not to perform an elective neck dissection. This treatment may destroy the barrier that prevents cancer from spreading to other parts of the body. It has been suggested that prophylactic surgery is beneficial for early-stage OSCC, but the decision remains difficult.
The TNM system is used to diagnose oropharyngeal cancer. It defines oral squamous cell carcinoma as a squamous cell carcinoma of the upper aerodigestive tract that arises from the oropharynx.
Treatment options for early-stage cancers
Depending on the location of the cancer, treatment options include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and targeted therapy. The best treatment is determined by the specific type of cancer and the individual’s general health and preferences.
Surgical removal is often the first option, but it may be combined with other treatments. For larger tumors, reconstruction may be necessary. This could involve using skin or bone from another part of the body.
MRI imaging is useful for diagnosing the disease and staging it. It can also look for hidden tumors. In addition to this, a speech-language pathologist can teach patients communication techniques.
The goal of treatment is to destroy the cancer and prevent it from spreading. Other treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy, are sometimes effective, but can also cause side effects.
Chemotherapy is a cancer treatment that uses drugs to kill the cancer cells. These drugs travel through the bloodstream and attack the cancer. Some of them may cause a temporary weakened immune system. This is because the cancer cells produce proteins that block the immune system.
Treatment options for advanced cancers
Depending on the type and location of your cancer, you may need to undergo several treatments. Your health care team will help you weigh the pros and cons of each treatment option. You should also discuss your wishes and feelings with your doctors.
If your oral cancer has spread to other parts of the mouth, you may need to undergo reconstructive surgery. Reconstructive surgery involves rebuilding the tissues removed during surgery. You might also need speech therapy, dental implants, or grafts.
You may also need chemotherapy. These drugs are given through an intravenous line or orally. You may have chemotherapy before surgery or after surgery. It will help kill errant cancer cells left behind and reduce the chances of the cancer returning.
Radiation therapy is another type of treatment. It uses strong beams of energy to destroy oral cancer cells. It may be used alone or in combination with chemotherapy. This treatment is often more effective than chemotherapy alone.