Oral cancer accounts for 3-5% of all cancers. It is the fifth most common cancer in men after stomach cancer, lung cancer, liver cancer, and colorectal cancer, and the eighth most common cancer in women.
In Korea, there are about 2,000 oral cancer patients a year, and tens of thousands of patients are still fighting the disease. The survival rate is low due to the difficulty in initial diagnosis, and chronic pain, dysfunction, and oral function abnormalities appear even after surgery if not treated in the early stages.
Although the exact cause of oral cancer is not yet known, smoking, drinking alcohol, viruses, radiation or ultraviolet irradiation, dietary and nutritional deficiencies, and genetic susceptibility are mentioned as risk factors. Pain around the mouth lasting more than 2 weeks, swelling or lumps around the mouth or throat, red or white spots on the mouth or lips, repeated bleeding in the mouth or throat, sudden shaking of teeth, or wounds that do not heal after tooth extraction If you have any symptoms, you may suspect oral cancer.
Oral cancer treatment includes surgical resection and reconstruction, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy, and combined treatment with these treatments is performed. Depending on the stage, local resection is initially performed, but in advanced cases, radiation therapy is attempted in conjunction with the radiology department before and after surgery to reduce the burden of surgery and increase the rate of treatment, or chemotherapy is attempted in conjunction with the hematology oncology department. . Oral cancer surgery involves excision of tumor tissue and reconstruction of defects resulting from it.
Possible complications and sequelae after oral cancer surgery include loss of oral functions such as tongue and jaw bone, facial deformity (deformation of the face remaining after resection), complications after chemotherapy or radiation therapy, hair loss, dysphagia, anorexia, general weakness, These include tooth decay and tooth decay, jaw osteomyelitis (radiation osteonecrosis), dry mouth, severe oral mucositis (severe tongue needle-like things), and exposure of the lower jaw bone due to radiation osteonecrosis.
If oral cancer is suspected of metastasis to the lymph nodes in the neck region, not only the cancer tissue in the mouth but also the lymph tissue in the neck region must be excised. , can cause mental problems.
To prevent oral cancer, it is recommended to thoroughly manage oral hygiene, perform scaling and regular check-ups every 6 months, quit smoking, and refrain from drinking excessively. If an ulcer in the mouth persists for more than 2 weeks or there is vitiligo or erythematosus, get an oral cancer test immediately, avoid spicy, salty, hot, and burnt foods, and be careful not to irritate the oral mucosa with sharp teeth or improperly fitting dentures. .