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Other Articles

1. Cancertame Ayurvedic Formulation
2. What is Chemotherapy?
3. What is Radiotherapy?
4. Role of Ayurveda in Cancer Treatment
5. Genesis of Cancer
6. Early Detection of Cancer
7. Diet, Nutrition & Cancer
8. Tobacco Smoking & Cancer
9. Conventional Treatment of Cancer
10. Soft Tissue Sarcoma
11. Mesothelioma
12. Skin Cancer
13. Bone Cancer
14. Leukaemia
15. Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia (CLL)
16. Chronic Myelogenous Leukaemia (CML)
17. Acute Lymphocytic Leukaemia (ALL) & Acute Non-Lymphocytic Leukaemias (ANLL)
18. Acute Myelogenous Leukaemia (AML)
19. Lymphoma
20. Multiple Myeloma
21. Breast Cancer
22. Prostate Cancer
23. Oral Cancer (Carcinoma of the Cheek, Lips & Tongue)
24. Carcinoma of the Salivary Gland
25. Carcinoma of the Paranasal Sinus
26. Carcinoma of Pharynx (Oropharynx, Nasopharynx and Hypopharynx)
27. Carcinoma of the Larynx
28. Brain & Spinal Cord Tumours
29. Primary Tumours of the Brain
30. Metastases in the Brain
31. Carcinoma of the Oesophagus
32. Thyroid Cancer
33. Bronchogenic Carcinoma (Lung Cancer)
34. Secondary Cancers of the Lung
35. Carcinoma of the Stomach
36. Liver Cancer
37. Gallbladder & Biliary Tract Cancer
38. Pancreatic Cancer
39. Kidney Cancer (Renal Cell Carcinoma and Nephroblastoma)
40. Urinary Tract (Transitional Cell Carcinoma) & Bladder Cancer
41. Carcinoma of Colon & Rectum
42. Primary Tumours of the Testis
43. Ovarian Cancer (Stromal, Germ Cell and Krukenberg's Tumour)
44. Carcinoma of Uterus
45. Cervix Cancer
46. Paediatric Cancers
47. AIDS Related Cancers
48. Carcinoma of Unknown Primary Site (CUPS)
49. Role of Nutrition in Cancer Treatment
50. Chinese Medicine in Cancer Treatment
Oral Cancer (Carcinoma of the Cheek, Lips & Tongue)


Carcinoma of the oral cavity includes carcinoma of the tongue (about 35 per cent), carcinoma of the floor of mouth (about 25 per cent), carcinoma of the buccal mucosa (about 15 per cent), carcinoma of the lower alveolus (about 15 per cent), carcinoma of the upper alveolus (about 5 per cent) and carcinoma of the hard palate (about 5 per cent). Men are more affected by carcinoma of the oral cavity than women. Risk factors of the oral cavity carcinoma include tobacco smoking and tobacco & betel nut chewing. Studies have shown that smokers have 10 times higher risk of the oral cavity carcinoma. Chronic and excessive consumption of alcohol is another risk factor. The ill-fitted denture may lead to the oral cavity carcinoma due to chronic abrasion of the buccal mucosa. It is also associated with poor dental hygiene and certain nutritional factors such as deficiency of vitamin A and vitamin B. The leukoplakia (whitish patch) and the erythroplakia (red velvety patch) are pre-cancerous conditions of the oral cavity carcinoma.

Carcinoma of the oral cavity usually presents with a red patch having ill-defined margins that may be slightly raised. It may present as a lump in the mouth that is felt with tip of the tongue. In some cases, the oral cavity carcinoma presents as a non-healing ulcer.

Staging of the oral cavity carcinoma is done as follows: 

  • In stage I, the tumour is less than 2 cm in size. 
  • In stage II, the tumour is more than 2 cm but less than 4 cm in size. 
  • In stage III, the tumour involves lymph nodes on the same side of the neck. 
  • In stage IV, the tumour invades the surrounding tissues or metastasises to distant organs of the body.
  • Recurrent carcinoma of the oral cavity is the one that reappears after an apparent recovery in response to the initial treatment. 


Procedures used to diagnose the oral cavity carcinoma include local physical examination, X-rays, CT scan and biopsy.

Carcinoma of the Cheek

Carcinoma of the cheek is usually a squamous cell carcinoma that usually affects heavy smokers, alcoholics and tobacco & betel nut chewers, especially those, who plug these contents in their cheek pouch. Chronic abrasions of the buccal mucosa by a rough tooth or an ill-fitted denture may cause carcinoma of the cheek. A leukoplakic patch on mucosal surface of the cheek is a major risk factor of carcinoma of the cheek. It usually metastasises to the submandibular, submental and the upper deep cervical lymph nodes. The diagnosis is confirmed by biopsy.

Carcinoma of the Lip

Carcinoma of the lip usually affects elderly persons. Its incidence is ten times higher in men as compared to women. Carcinoma of the lower lip is more common. Smoking and ultraviolet radiation are two major risk factors. A hyperkeratotic patch formed on the lip in smokers usually transforms to carcinoma of the lip. Ultraviolet radiation leads to the formation of whitish tinge on the lip that is followed by repeated cracks and desquamation causing erosions. This lesion, known as actinic cheilitis, may transform into carcinoma of the lip. Carcinoma of the lip usually presents with a lesion having ulcerating centre and everted margins. Carcinoma of the lip usually metastasises to the submental and the submandibular lymph nodes. The diagnosis of carcinoma of the lip is usually confirmed by biopsy.

Carcinoma of the Tongue

Carcinoma of the tongue is usually a squamous cell carcinoma. Risk factors of the tongue carcinoma include smoking, alcoholism, poor oral hygiene, chronic superficial glossitis, sessile papilloma and Plumer Vinson syndrome. The tongue carcinoma usually presents as an oval, raised and papillated plaque on the tongue along with excessive salivation. The lesion is usually ulcerating having indurated base and raised everted margins. Sometimes, the tongue carcinoma presents as a fungating growth. Carcinoma of the tongue remains asymptomatic in the early stages. In later stages, there may be pain and difficulty in swallowing. In the advanced stage, the tongue becomes stiff and partially fixed. There may be offensive foul smell, starvation, cachexia and bronchopneumonia. The enlarged lymph nodes and oedema of the glottis may exert pressure on the trachea leading to asphyxia. Haemorrhage may occur from the tumour or the eroded carotid artery. Carcinoma of an anterior two-third portion of the tongue may invade the mandible and floor of the mouth across the midline. Involvement of muscles of the tongue may affect the speech. Ultimately, the tongue may become fixed due to extensive infiltration of the tumour into the floor of the mouth. Carcinoma of posterior one-third of the tongue may involve the tonsils, pharynx, cervical spine, soft palate, epiglottis and the larynx. Carcinoma of the tongue usually metastasises to the submandibular lymph nodes. The diagnosis is confirmed by biopsy.

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