Oral Cancer Treatment Ft. Lauderdale
It is important for all patients to have a routine evaluation for signs of changes and or growths within the oral cavity. Dr. Sultan and his colleagues recommend those at high risk for oral cancer, namely smokers, drinkers, users of chewing tobacco perform a self-evaluation monthly. When detected in the early stages, oral cancer may be more easily treated.
"Dr. Saltan services are amazing. He is a wonderful Dr. and I would recommend him to all. His staff were on top of all that I needed for my recovery."
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Warning Signs of Oral Cancer
- Reddish patches or whitish patches in the mouth
- A sore that fails to heal and bleeds easily
- A lump or thickening on the skin lining the inside of the mouth
- Chronic sore throat or hoarseness
- Difficulty in chewing or swallowing
These changes can be detected on the lips, cheeks, palate, gum tissue around the teeth, tongue, face, and/or neck. Pain does not always occur with pathology and, curiously, is not often associated with oral cancer. However, any patient with facial and/or oral pain without an obvious cause or reason may also be at risk for oral cancer.
Should a suspicious area be detected, a biopsy may be recommended in order to perform a microscopic evaluation for an accurate diagnosis. At this point, a variety of treatment options may be recommended, ranging from observation, medication, radiation, and or surgery.
As opposed to oral cancer, there are other types of growths that are found in the oral cavity. A tumor is a localized growth of hard or soft tissue. It can be benign (staying in one place ) or malignant (travels to other areas of the body). A cyst is a fluid-filled cavity also found either in the soft or hard tissues. Although cysts and tumors may not be malignant, they can enlarge locally causing pain and tissue destruction. It is important that Dr. Sultan takes a 3D CT scan in order to detect bony changes that may not normally be seen with routine dental x-rays.
Infections in the Oral Cavity
Should you develop acute tooth pain, please see your dentist as soon as possible. This can be an early warning sign of a developing infection. Ignoring the problem will not make the condition better. Contrary to popular belief, taking antibiotics will only control an infection, not necessarily curing it. A definitive treatment for an infection may include drainage, root canal or possibly removal of the tooth. If pain is associated with fever, swelling, difficulty in opening the mouth, difficulty swallowing or breathing, these are signs of a serious, possibly life-threatening infection. These conditions may involve hospitalization, intravenous antibiotics, and surgery.
What causes an oral cyst to form?
Oral cysts, also known as mucous cysts, are most commonly caused by trauma to the oral cavity, such as:
- Lip biting (most common cause)
- Cheek biting
- Accidental rupture of a salivary gland
- Adjacent teeth causing chronic damage
How is an oral cyst removed?
Most cysts will rupture on their own, so they don’t need any attention. But some cysts persist, and although they are typically painless, it’s a good idea to have them removed because they can become permanent. When cysts re-form after being opened, they will usually be recommended to be removed. Sometimes excisional surgery may be necessary, but this is rare with oral cysts.
Dr. Sultan can remove cysts using these methods:
- Laser therapy — Laser energy is used to remove the cyst.
- Cryotherapy — Liquid nitrogen freezes the tissues and deflates the cyst.
- Corticosteroid injection — By injecting steroids into the cyst, inflammation is reduced, and the cyst goes away.
How long does it take to heal after having an oral cyst removed?
Most oral cysts are treated by rupturing them. They then resolve in a few days without any pain or further attention. Removal methods such as laser treatment or cryotherapy also clear in a week or so. If the cyst has necessitated removing it from the bone, obviously your healing will be far more involved, but Dr. Sultan will discuss this with you.
Are these treatments for oral cysts permanent?
It is hoped the treatment to rupture or remove your cyst was permanent. But some cysts re-form. Plus, if you continue some of the behaviors that can lead to cyst development, such as biting your cheek, another cyst can certainly form.
How is oral cancer diagnosed?
Part of every routine dental cleaning and exam is a check for signs of oral cancer. This is the reason your dentist looks at the roof and floor of your mouth, pulls your tongue to the side, and checks your lymph nodes on your neck. If any tumors, growths, or suspicious lesions are found, the dentist will perform a brush biopsy or a tissue biopsy. Either method obtains cells that can be tested to see if cancer is present.
For further diagnosis, these tests could be used:
- X-rays — These can show if cancer cells have spread to the jaw, chest, or lungs.
- CT scan — These scans show soft tissue that x-rays cannot, so they can check the mouth, throat, neck, and lungs for signs of cancer.
- PET scan — These scans test to see if cancer has spread to the lymph nodes or other organs.
- MRI scan — These show the most accurate images of the head and neck and look for the stage or the extent of cancer.
- Endoscopy — An endoscope is inserted into the nose or throat to check the nasal passages, sinuses, inner throat, windpipe, and trachea.
How long does it take oral cancer to spread?
There is no timeframe for oral cancer spreading. That’s why it is of paramount importance to see your dentist for your twice-yearly cleanings and exams. That will be the time oral cancer can be spotted. If you’ve not gone more than six months since your last exam, new cancer would be stage 1, early stage.
Oral cancer that is not detected early is particularly deadly. The five-year survival rate of oral cancer diagnosed after the early stages are only 57 percent. Early-stage oral cancer often is not noticed by the patient, as it can develop without producing pain or symptoms. It also has a high risk of producing second, primary tumors.
How is an oral tumor treated?
How Dr. Sultan treats an oral cancer tumor depends on the type, location, and stage of cancer. These are the options:
- Surgery — Early-stage cancer usually is treated with surgery to remove the tumor and cancerous lymph nodes. Other surrounding tissue may be taken, as well.
- Radiation therapy — Dr. Sultan does not perform radiation therapy, but another specialist would. It involves aiming radiation beams at the tumor once or twice a day, five days a week, for two to eight weeks.
- Chemotherapy — This involves drugs that kill cancer cells. The medicine is given orally or by through an intravenous (IV) line.
- Targeted therapy — The patient is given specific drugs that bind to specific proteins on cancer cells.
Schedule a Consultation Today!
Please do not ignore any suspicious lumps or sores, or pains in or around your mouth. Should you recognize any of the above signs or symptoms, please contact our office at (954) 771-8772 or fill out our contact us form to schedule a consultation today!