Mouth and Throat Cancers

Mouth and throat cancers are quite common cancers in India.

Why does mouth and throat cancer occur?

There are several causes associated with mouth and throat cancers, most common being use of tobacco / supari / paan / guttka / smoking cigarette / beedi / alcohol.  

However these cancers can sometimes occur even without history of tobacco or alcohol use due to several other factors like virus infection with HPV, constant trauma by sharp teeth /denture, some pre malignant  conditions like leukoplakia ( white patch in mouth), erythroplakia ( red patch in mouth) or lichen planus.

What are the symptoms of mouth and throat cancers?

  1. Any persistent or growing ulcer or swelling in gums, check. Tongue, lips or tonsils
  2. Unexplained falling/loosening  of teeth
  3. Difficulty in opening mouth/ reduced mouth opening
  4. Difficulty or pain while gulping food
  5. Change in voice
  6. Neck swelling
  7. Unexplained weight loss
  8. Bleeding from mouth or throat

Can mouth and throat cancer occur without history of smoking/tobacco use?

Yes, mouth and throat cancers can occur even with out history of abuse of tobacco/alcohol.

Can these cancers be cured?

Majority mouth and throat cancers can be cured especially when detected in early stage.

What is the best treatment for these cancers?

Mouth and throat cancers are best treated by using combination of surgery, radiation therapy, chemo and immunotherapy. The decision to use a particular combination is decided by examining patient, investigations and discussion in tumour board.

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