Oral Lesions Precancerous and Cancerous Growths-Prevention and Early Detection
What are Precancerous and Cancerous Oral Lesions?
Precancerous oral lesions are abnormal cell growths in or around the mouth. They may become cancer. Cancerous oral lesions are life-threatening cell changes in the mouth. These lesions need to be detected early to give you a better chance for a cure.
Signs and Symptoms
The signs and symptoms of precancerous and cancerous oral lesions may include:
*A sore in the mouth that doesn’t heal within 3 weeks
*White or red lesions or ulcers on the tongue, gums, or lining of the mouth that doesn’t go away.
*Tenderness or pain in the mouth that persists
See your dental professional about any sore or pain in the mouth that doesn’t go away in 3 weeks. He or she will ask questions about your medical and dental history. your entire mouth, including your lips and teeth, will be checked. A biopsy or other tests may also be done.
A biopsy is the best way to find out if a lesion is precancerous or cancerous. During a biopsy, the area around the lesion will be numbed. A part of the lesion will then be removed and sent to a lab to be examined under a microscope.
Along with a biopsy, other tests may be helpful in making the diagnosis. They include staining and cytology.
The area in your mouth around the lesion may be stained with a special dye. The dye binds to cancerous cells, staining only these cells. After a few hours, the color from the dye will disappear.
Your dental professional may scrape the surface of the lesion with a brush to obtain cells. This is called a brush biopsy. Anesthesia (numbing medication) is not needed. The cells are then sent to a lab, where they are examined for cancer.
Your treatment will depend on the nature of the oral lesion. Talk to your dental or medical professional about which treatment may be best for you.
Types of treatment:
Surgery. Precancerous or cancerous oral lesions may be removed with surgery. In some cases, your speech, swallowing, and chewing may be affected. Your dental or medical professional can tell you more about this.
This treatment uses waves of energy to kill cancerous cells. Treatment is most often given for 5 to 7 weeks. Patients may have some side effects, such as dry mouth or mouth pain. but these can usually be controlled.
Combination therapy. Both surgery and radiation therapy may be used to treat advanced cases of oral cancer.
Chemotherapy. This treatment uses special chemicals to kill cancerous cells. It may be used along with combination therapy in advanced cases of oral cancer. Chemotherapy may make you less able to fight infections for a while.
The best way to catch any problems early is to have regular oral checkups. To help reduce your risk for oral cancer, follow the tips below.
*Get oral checkups atleast 2 times a year even if your mouth and teeth don’t hurt or your dentures fit.
*Don’t use Tobacco. Tobacco increases the risk for oral cancer. Don’t smoke cigarettes, cigars, or pipes. And don’t chew tobacco or use snuff. It’s never too late to stop using tobacco.
*Limit Alcohol. Don’t drink a lot of alcohol. If you do, you may be at a higher risk for oral cancer.
*Eat a Healthy Diet. Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables may lower your risk for oral cancer.
*Use Good Oral Hygiene. Brush and floss your teeth each day. If you wear dentures, keep them clean.