Cancer is a purely deadly disease. Any form of cancer is dangerous for human life. The only control for cancer is to check the cancer condition well in time and get it treated regularly and properly from your health care or doctor. We are scared and aware of big cancers including stomach cancer, blood cancer and brain tumors. But there are many more small but scary cancers that we are not even aware off. There are many types of oral cancers that we usually ignore. We always feel they are small problems and get solved by themselves. We need to be very careful and aware of other types of cancers. This will help one to find and get it treated in proper way. To be healthy we should know about smallest change taking place in our bodies. These frequent checks and tests will help us to keep a close on our bodies.
What is Oropharyngeal or Oropharynx Cancer?
Most of us like to drink alcohol and smoke. We personally believe that we consuming these hazardous things in limit but the reality is we have already lost control to these things. There are different types of oral cancer that can strike us due to our careless smoking and drinking habits. Oropharyngeal cancer is an oral disease in which the malignant cells form in the tissue of oropharynx. The oropharynx is actually the mid part of throat that including base of tongue, tonsils, soft palate, and walls of the pharynx. Oropharyngeal Cancers are further divided into two types. The first is Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)-positive that is related to human papillomavirus infection, and second is HPV-negative cancer that is linked to excessive alcohol or tobacco use. Through various researches it has been found that the patients dealing with HPV mediated oropharyngeal cancer have better survival rates as compared to non-mediated ones. Further treatment of these cancers depends on the age and also the health of the person as well as the stage of this disease. Once trapped in oropharyngeal cancer one has to keep a close check through various tests for whole of their lives. Though it gets cured with proper medication and treatment but still one has to be very careful on similar front. There is a big possibility the cancer might repeat itself in nearby areas. Also, one need to give up smoking and drinking alcohol as such activities tends to increase the risk of disease.
Signs and Symptoms of Oropharyngeal Cancer
Oropharyngeal cancer is quite visible through various signs. A person suffering from this disease will have a persistent problem of sore throat. They may have to go through pain or difficulty in swallowing food. There could be sudden change in voice. It could unexpectedly hoarse. Incurable coughing is another sign pointing to such problem. There could be continuous ear pain. There could be a sudden lump in throat or mouth and neck also. One could experience sudden weight loss. Even there could be a dull pain behind the sternum. It is advisable not forgo these changes rather one should carefully observe them. Once the changes are visible and not getting fine by them then it is high time one should get it checked and treated. Visit a specialist who has proper knowledge about the subject and who can provide you with honest advice.
Risk Factor involving Oropharyngeal Cancer
People who are very fond of smoking, chewing tobacco, having alcohol is at higher risk of this particular disease. People with low fruit and vegetables intake are also exposed to this cancer. Poor nutrition is another reason for this disease. People faced Mucosal infection with human papilloma virus are also facing same risky situation. The once suffering from EBV infection or Plummer-Vinson syndrome and Asbestos exposure and P53 mutation have super high chances of having this diseases.
Spreading of Oropharyngeal Cancer
This Cancer spreads itself by intruding and destroying surrounding normal tissues. It can also hamper the lymph system and then travels through the lymph vessels to other parts in the body. Most tragically if this cancer is not well treated in time it carry further to veins and capillaries and through the blood to other soft parts in the body.
Stages of Oropharyngeal Cancer
There are various stages of this Oropharngeal Cancer. It is better to catch it very first stage and treat it. It begins with stage 0 that is very birthing stage. The abnormal cells have just started lining themselves at oropharynx. It might or might not turn into cancer. Then comes the stage one where cancer starts developing up to 20mm but not outside oropharynx. Second stage is when the tissue is larger than 20mm but not beyond 40 mm and has jumped outside. Third stage start when it larger than 40 mm or turned to lymph node. By the end of fourth stage it has taken over the jaw area.
It is advisable to keep a close check and not miss any sign of such cancer.
Oral and Oropharyngeal Cancer: Treatment Options:
Primary tumor surgery. The tumor and a margin of healthy tissue are removed to decrease the chance that any cancerous cells will be left behind. The tumor can be removed through the mouth or through an incision in the neck. A mandibulotomy, in which the jawbone is split to access the tumor, may also be required.
Glossectomy. This is the partial or total removal of the tongue.
Mandibulectomy. If the tumor has entered a jawbone but not spread into the bone, then a piece of the jawbone or the whole jawbone will be removed. If there is evidence of destruction of the jawbone on an x-ray, then the entire bone may need to be removed.
Maxillectomy. This surgery removes part or all of the hard palate, which is the bony roof of the mouth. Prostheses (artificial devices), or more recently, the use of flaps of soft tissue with and without bone can be placed to fill gaps created during this operation.
Neck dissection. Cancer of the oral cavity and oropharynx often spreads to lymph nodes in the neck. It may be necessary to remove some or all of these lymph nodes using a surgical procedure called a neck dissection.
Laryngectomy. A laryngectomy is the complete or partial removal of the larynx or voice box. The larynx is critical to swallowing because it protects the airway from food and liquid entering the trachea or windpipe and reaching the lungs, which can cause pneumonia.