Buccal mucosa cancer, or oral cavity cancer, is a type of cancer that affects the inner lining(mucosa) of the cheeks, gums, tongue, and lips. Although it’s rare, but can be a serious condition that requires prompt treatment.
In this article, we will discuss the warning signs and treatments for buccal mucosa cancer, to help you protect yourself from this disease.
Warning Signs of Buccal Mucosa Cancer
The early stages of buccal mucosa cancer may not produce any noticeable symptoms. However, as the cancer progresses, the following warning signs may appear:
- Persistent mouth sores or ulcers that do not heal even after several weeks
- Red or white patches on the gums, tongue, or inner lining of the cheeks
- Swelling or lumps in the mouth or neck
- Persistent pain or discomfort in the mouth
- Difficulty in swallowing or speaking
- Changes in the way your teeth fit together or dentures fit
- Unexplained weight loss
If you experience any of these symptoms, it is essential to see a doctor immediately. Early detection is the key to significantly improving your chances of successful treatment.
Factors Causing Buccal Mucosa Cancer
Smoking & Using Tobacco Products
Smoking and using tobacco products are some of the leading causes of oral cancer. The use of cigarettes, stogies, lines, or biting tobacco considerably builds the possibility of creating buccal malignant growth.
Excessive Alcohol Consumption
Heavy alcohol consumption is another risk factor for oral cancer.
Liquor utilization shows areas of strength for the beginning of oral squamous cell diseases. Besides, smoking and drinking vigorously dramatically increases this malignant growth risk.
Stem Cells Transplant
Individuals who have received hemopoietic stem cell transplants have a significantly higher risk of developing oral cancer, with a 4 to 7 times greater likelihood than the general population.
This is often preceded by signs of graft versus host disease in the oral cavity, such as
- Lichenoid changes
The tongue and salivary gland are the most frequently affected sites for cancer, typically appearing 5 to 9 years after the transplant procedure.
Treatments for Buccal Mucosa Cancer
The treatment for buccal mucosa cancer will depend on the stage and severity of the cancer. Some of the commonly used treatments for buccal mucosa cancer include:
Surgery: This involves removing the cancerous tumor and nearby lymph nodes. It is often the first treatment option for buccal mucosa cancer.
Radiation therapy: This involves using high-energy radiation to kill cancer cells. It can be used as the primary treatment or in combination with surgery.
Immunotherapy: This involves using drugs that help the body’s immune system to fight cancer cells.
Prevention of Buccal Mucosa Cancer
There are several things you can do to reduce your risk of developing buccal mucosa cancer, including:
- Quit smoking or using tobacco products
- Limit alcohol consumption
- Eat a healthy diet
- Protection from sun exposure
- Practice good oral hygiene
Tip: Brush your teeth twice a day and floss daily to remove food particles and plaque from your teeth and gums. This will help prevent oral infections that can lead to cancer.