Cancers of the oral cavity are one of the most commonly found cancers in the developing world. They are primarily linked to tobacco use in any form like chewing, smoking. Alcohol is an independent risk factor. Other factors like immunodeficiency, poor oral hygiene, HPV , dietary deficiencies, etc also play a major role in the development of oral cancer.
- Its more common in males and more in 50 plus age group.
- More than 90% are squamous cell cancers.
- Presentation is in form of ulcer or growth in oral cavity, difficulty in swallowing, bleeding from oral cavity etc.
- Most important in diagnosis is clinical examination followed by imaging like CT Scan or MRI, Biopsy is needed to confirm the diagnosis. In advanced cases PET CT may be needed.
- Primary treatment is surgical resection along with neck dissection and reconstruction with pedicled flap or free flap
- Disease at an advanced stage may require chemotherapy followed by surgery
- Depending on the histopathology patient may require radiation in post-op period
The disease can be prevented by avoiding tobacco and alcohol and inculcating a healthy lifestyle.