Oral Tumor

What is oral tumor?

The oral and the upper part of the throat (pharynx) have roles in many important functions, including breathing, talking, chewing and swallowing. Less commonly, it can occur in the salivary glands, tonsils and the part of the throat that leads from mouth to windpipe (the pharynx).  The less common types of oral tumor include oral malignant melanoma (where the tumor starts in cells called melanocytes, which help give skin its color) and adenocarcinomas (tumor that develop inside the salivary glands).


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What is oral tumor Risk Factor?

A risk factor is something that may increase the chance of getting disease. Most of people with oral tumor have used tobacco, alcohol or both. There are several risk factor of oral tumor:

    • Tobacco

Smoking cigarettes, cigars, or pipes, or using smokeless tobacco such as snuff and chewing tobacco causes oral tumor. Other than that, the use of other tobacco products such as bidis and kreteks may also increase the risk of oral tumor. The risk is greater for people who use both tobacco and alcohol than for those who use only tobacco or only alcohol.

    • Heavy alcohol use

There are increase the risk to those who are heavy drinkers are more likely to develop oral tumor than people who don’t drink alcohol.

    • HPV Infection

HPV infection comes from HPV family viruses that infect the mouth and throat. These viruses are passed from person to person through sexual contact. Tumor at the base of the tongue, at the back of the throat, in the tonsil, or in the soft palate is linked with HPV infection.

    • Sun

Lips that exposure to the sun may cause the tumor at the lips area. By using a lotion or lip balm that has a sunscreen can reduce the risk. Wearing a hat with a brim can also block the sun’s harmful rays.

    • A personal history of oral cancer

People who have had oral tumor are increased risk of developing another oral tumor.

    • Diet

Diet which not eating enough fruits and vegetables may increase the chance of getting oral tumor.


How is oral tumor diagnosed?

This is very important to diagnosis the disease before it will spread to other parts in mouth area. If oral tumor is suspected, the patient will be referred to either an oncologist or a specialist. An oncologist is a doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating tumor. There are several diagnosed for oral tumor:

    • Biopsy

Biopsy is the treatment which the doctor may take a small sample of tissue to see if there are tumor cells. In most cases the patient will be under general anesthetic. In some cases, just a local anesthetic is used especially if the biopsy involves taking a sample from the surface of the tissue.

    • Endoscopy

Endoscopy is the diagnosis which the doctor passes a lighted scope down the patient’s throat to see whether the tumor has spread beyond the mouth.

    • Imaging Tests

Test such as x-rays, computerized tomography (CT) scan, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans and PET (position emission tomography) scans.


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