Buccal Mucosa is a type of oral cancer that affects the inside of your cheek. It is a rare form of cancer, accounting for only 1-2% of all cancers that occur in the mouth. Despite being rare, buccal mucosa cancer is more aggressive than other forms of oral cancer, and it can be difficult to treat.
This guide will provide you with everything you need to know about buccal mucosa cancer, from its symptoms and causes to its treatment options.
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What are the symptoms of buccal mucosa cancer?
The most common symptom of buccal mucosa cancer is a sore or ulcer on the inside of your cheek that does not heal. It varies depending on the location and size of the tumor. Other symptoms may include:
- A mass or lump on the inside of your cheek that does not heal
- Red or white patches on the lining of the mouth
- Bleeding from the mouth
- Pain or numbness in your cheek
- Difficulty moving your jaw
- Drooling or saliva build-up on the affected side of your mouth
- Loss of appetite
- Swelling of your face
- Ear pain
- Weight loss
If you experience any of these symptoms in combination, it is important to see a doctor right away.
What Causes Buccal Mucosa Cancer?
The cause of buccal mucosa cancer is unknown, but there are several risk factors that may increase your chance of developing this disease. These include:
- Tobacco use: Cigarette smoking is the most important risk factor for buccal mucosa cancer. People who smoke are six times more likely to develop this cancer than those who do not smoke.
- Alcohol use: Drinking alcohol increases your risk of buccal mucosa cancer. The more alcohol you drink, the greater your risk.
- Betel nut use: Chewing betel nuts can increase your risk of buccal mucosa cancer.
- Human papillomavirus (HPV): HPV is a group of viruses that can infect the skin and mucous membranes. HPV is the most common cause of cervical cancer, as well as some types of cancer of the head and neck.
- Sun exposure: Excessive sun exposure can increase your risk of buccal mucosa cancer.
Diagnosing Buccal Mucosa Cancer
As mentioned above, the most common symptom of buccal mucosa cancer is a sore or ulcer in the mouth that doesn’t heal. If you have this symptom, your doctor will likely refer you to a dentist or oral surgeon for an evaluation
Imaging tests. Your doctor may order X-rays, computed tomography (CT) scans or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans to get a better look at the tumor and see if it has spread
Biopsy. The only way to confirm that you have cancer is to have a biopsy, in which a small sample of tissue is removed and examined under a microscope. Your doctor may do this in the office using local anesthesia, or you may be referred to a hospital or other medical center for more extensive surgery
What are the stages of Buccal Mucosa Cancer?
The stage of cancer is a way of describing how far it has spread in the body. It is important to know the stage of your cancer so that your healthcare team can develop an appropriate treatment plan. There are four main stages of Buccal Mucosa cancer:
- Stage 0: Cancer cells are present in the lining of the mouth but have not spread to other parts of the body
- Stage I: Cancer cells have spread to the deeper layers of the mouth but have not spread to other parts of the body
- Stage II: Cancer cells have spread to nearby lymph nodes but have not spread to other parts of the body
- Stage III: Cancer cells have spread to other parts of the body, such as the lungs or liver
Treatment for Buccal Mucosa Cancer
The best course of treatment for Buccal Mucosa cancer depends on a number of factors, including the stage and type of cancer, your age and overall health, and your preferences.
In the early, stages, treatment may include surgery, radiation therapy, or chemotherapy. If the cancer has spread, treatment may include radiation therapy, chemotherapy or palliative care to ease symptoms
Surgery is a common treatment for buccal mucosa cancer. The goal of surgery is to remove the tumor and any associated lymph nodes. This may be done through an incision in your mouth or through a more extensive operation if the cancer has spread Radiation therapy.
Radiation therapy uses high-energy beams like X-rays to kill cancer cells. It may be used alone or in combination with surgery
Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill cancer cells. It may be given intravenously or as a pill that you take by mouth. Chemotherapy is often used in combination with radiation therapy
Palliative care is a treatment to relieve symptoms and improve the support coping,forquality of life for people with terminal illnesses like buccal mucosa cancer. It may include pain management, nutrition counseling and psychological supportCoping with buccal mucosa cancer
The diagnosis of buccal mucosa cancer can be frightening, and you may feel overwhelmed and scared. It’s important to remember that you are not alone. You can get help from your doctor, family, and friends to cope with the diagnosis.
What is the prognosis of Buccal Mucosa Cancer?
The prognosis of Buccal Mucosa Cancer can vary depending on a number of factors, including the stage of the cancer, the age and health of the patient, and how well the cancer is responding to treatment. In general, however, the 5-year survival rate for patients with Buccal Mucosa Cancer is about 50%.
This means that about 50% of patients will be alive 5 years after being diagnosed with this type of cancer. However, there are many cases where patients survive much longer than 5 years – some have been known to live for 10 or even 20 years after being diagnosed. It is important to remember that each case is unique, and that your prognosis will depend on your individual situation. If you have any
Choosing Best Doctor for Buccal Mucosa Cancer
If you have been diagnosed with Buccal Mucosa cancer, it is important to seek the advice of a specialist. A specialist is a doctor who has had additional training in a particular area of medicine. There are many different types of specialists, including cancer specialists (oncologists), radiation oncologists, and surgeons.
Your family doctor or general practitioner can refer you to a specialist. You can also ask your friends or relatives for recommendations. The internet can also be a helpful source of information about specialists in your area.
When choosing a specialist, it is important to consider the following factors:
- The doctor’s experience and expertise in treating Buccal Mucosa cancer
- The hospital’s or clinic’s experience in treating Buccal Mucosa cancer
- The doctor’s ability to communicate with you
Dr. Amit Chakraborty
Dr. Amit Chakraborty is a Surgical Oncologist in Mumbai, India, and has experience of 15 years of in this field. He is a well-known cancer specialist with expertise in diagnosing and treating head and neck cancer.
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