To avoid oral cancer, which affects 2,000 people a year…

Oral cancer is cancer of the tongue, cheek mucosa, gums, roof of the mouth, and lips. [사진=게티이미지뱅크]

Oral cancer is the second most common cancer in men after stomach cancer, lung cancer, liver cancer, and colorectal cancer. 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, viruses, radiation or ultraviolet rays, eating habits and nutritional deficiencies 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 from the mouth or throat, or symptoms that do not heal after tooth extraction Oral cancer may be suspected.

Oral cancer treatment includes surgical resection and reconstruction, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. In the early stage of oral cancer, local resection is performed, but in advanced cases, radiation therapy or chemotherapy is attempted before and after surgery to reduce the burden of surgery and increase the cure rate.

Oral cancer surgery involves the removal of the tumor tissue and reconstruction of the resulting defect. Professor Choi Byeong-jun of the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at Kyunghee University Dental Hospital said, “Usually, after tissue resection, including normal tissue, at the border of oral cancer, the resulting functional impairment and esthetic damage are reconstructed and restored by transplanting bone and flesh from another part.” “Oral cancer is usually difficult to detect at an early stage, so it is often too late when it is confirmed that it is cancer,” he said.

Possible complications and sequelae after oral cancer surgery include loss of oral functions such as tongue and jawbone (jawbone), facial deformation, hair loss, anorexia, general weakness, tooth decay and tooth decay, severe oral mucositis, and exposure of the lower jaw bone due to radiation osteonecrosis. etc. 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.

Professor Choi said, “To prevent oral cancer, thorough oral hygiene management, scaling and regular check-ups every 6 months, smoking cessation, and refraining from excessive drinking are recommended. If you have this, you need to get tested for oral cancer immediately, avoid spicy, salty, hot, and burnt food, and be careful not to irritate the oral mucosa with sharp teeth or dentures that do not fit well.”

Reporter Kim Soo-hyun

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