Oral cancer involves the cancer of the oral cavity, jawbones, and larynx.
Oral cancer progresses in stages, with each advancing stage requiring more complex treatment. Therefore, early diagnosis of cancer helps due to more straightforward treatments and better recovery. Consequently, never miss out on dental appointments with Bayside Dental And Orthodontics. In addition, you can call us at 979-330-4113 to book an appointment. It’s time to discuss what are the four stages of oral cancer and the treatment options available.
What Are The Four Stages Of Oral Cancer?
With each advancing stage, cancer’s size enlarges and becomes more dreadful.
Oral cancer advances in the following four stages:
Stage 1: In its initial stage, the cancer is minute and limited only to the originating area. More often, the tumor is about two centimeters or smaller. However, stage 1 symptoms are often weak and ignored by the patients, allowing it to progress to stage 2.
Stage 2: The cancer is still limited to the originating space ( has not spread to lymph nodes), but the tumor diameter increases significantly. Hence, during the second stage, the size of the tumor ranges from two to four centimeters. Therefore, you will start to feel swelling and numbness that will hinder your regular eating and swallowing.
Stage 3: The tumor has grown to a formidable size larger than four centimeters. Cancer may spread to lymph nodes, but indeed it hasn’t spread to the other parts of your body.
Stage 4: The tumor has certainly branched off and nested in your lymph nodes and also spread to other parts of your body.
It’s quite evident that the situation turns grim as cancer progresses, and so do the methods required to combat it. Hence, let’s have a quick look at the methods available to treat cancer.
Possible Treatments Available For Oral Cancer:
Using surgical procedures, surgeons extract the tumor and the affected tissue with minimal damage to the healthy tissues. Now, the intensity of surgery usually depends on the stage of cancer. For example, if the cancer is in stage one, the surgery is short and sweet. However, higher stages require a laborious and extensive surgical procedure that may require the surgeon to remove parts of bone, skin, or your tongue.
The doctor targets the cancerous region with rays that usually destroy the cancer cells and affect the healthy tissue. For oral cancer, radiotherapy is often used to stop recurring cancer and applied after the surgical treatment. Nonetheless, stage 1 cancer is usually treated with surgery and doesn’t require radiotherapy. However, for later stages, radiotherapy is used in conjunction with chemotherapy.
Chemotherapy is the term for specific drugs administered orally or through IV. These drugs target the cancerous cell and interfere with their life cycle. However, this therapy also affects healthy tissues. Moreover, doctors resort to chemo in the later stages of cancer.
From our discussion, it’s easy to deduce that oral cancer is not easy to deal with. Hence, prevention is better than cure, so always opt for a healthy diet and proper oral hygiene.