Gum Cancer - Overview, Symptoms, Prevention, and Treatment Methods
Gum cancer is the cancer of the gum. The malignant growth of cells or the abnormal growth and multiplication of cells in the gum tissue is termed as gum cancer.
The gum as known is the soft tissue surrounding the base of the teeth.
In medical terminology gum is called gingival and therefore gum cancer is also known as gingival cancer.
According to the statistics approximately 50% of people with this disease are expected to live more than 5 years even after the diagnosis and treatment. It is quite advantageous if the gum cancer is detected early meaning before it has spread to other tissues. If this early detection is done than the cure rate is 75%.
But unfortunately more than 50% of the cases of this disease are said to be detected in advanced stage due to mistaken identity and mere negligence. Almost 25% of the gum cancer deaths are said to be due to late detection, diagnosis and treatment.
Gum Cancer Symptoms
The Gum cancer symptoms may be often mistaken to be some other dental problems which are less serious and easily treatable. Majority of these cases are predicted only after they have advanced.
Due to mere negligence and improper care many a time’s gum cancer is left untreated. Some of the Gum cancer symptoms which may be associated with some other problems or may be sure signs of the disease include:
- Gum pain: The first and foremost gum cancer symptom often mistaken as other disorder or problem is the pain in the gums. This is caused due to the malignancy of the cells in the gums.
- Gum swelling: Pain is followed by the swelling as well
- Gum mass: Due to the accumulation of the abnormal cells a mass like may be formed in the gum tissue
- Gum ulceration: Other common symptoms are the formation of ulcers in the gum or nearby areas.
- Gum bleeding: Unexpected bleeding without any bruise or injury may occur without any specific reason.
Gum Cancer Treatment
The accurate method of gum cancer treatment is surgery. Surgery involves the removal of the tumor if it is small enough. Apart from surgery the other gum cancer treatments include the radiation therapy and the chemotherapy.
These methods are opted in cases where the tumor is very large and cannot be removed by surgery. If the tumor has spread to the nearby lymph nodes in the neck also these methods are used.
At times surgery may also be useful for removing the large tumors. Rehabilitation may include speech therapy or other therapy to improve movement, chewing, swallowing, and speech.
Gum Cancer Prevention
The gum cancer can be better prevented rather than treated. The simple steps to be followed to prevent the disease include:
- Having a regular dental check up, particularly the soft tissue of the mouth to check for any abnormal change in the gums.
- See a professional like the dentist in perth and have your dental problems corrected.
- Avoid smoking or other tobacco use or minimize its use if possible
- Avoid alcohol use or minimize
- Practicing good oral hygiene is the best way to prevent the disease from happening