It is really distressing and disturbing to see more and more being afflicted with Cancer, more so Head and Neck Cancer since the signs are obvious and it can be easily seen.
Worse there seems to less awareness amongst the patients and more so amongst the professional community. In fact I am requesting a media house to do a story on Cancer awareness. Within the past 2 months I have had two patients being treated for Oral Ulcer when in reality they had Cancer!!!!!!
Worse both had positive history of using tobacco!!!! Whenever you or your loved ones or friends have a lesion/ulcer persisting for 3 weeks and does not heal or wax and wane or if it increases in size immediately take him/her to an Oncologist. SAVE A LIFE.
Links for my patients:
Patient 1) Was referred for a non healing ulcer when I saw him I was shocked – Obvious Cancer of tongue – Treated and patient is symptom free for the lat 2 years – Click to see
Patient 2) Patient is a paan chewer and has submucoal fibrosis. He had pain and difficult opening the mouth. His physician was treating him for apthous ulcer, luckily the patient had some sense and came to me for an expert opinion. One look and I was confident, took a biopsy in the OPD – diagnosis – An aggressive Spindle Cell Carcinoma with Sarcomatous changes. Patient is since recovering after a major surgery – Click to see
Patient 3) This is a 30 year old man who smokes has two small kids. Treated for non healing ulcer in tongue for 6 months!!! Came to me after he noticed a swelling in the neck. Investigations done revealed he had Tongue Cancer with neck secondary attached to the Carotid Artery. Surgery was done to remove the primary and RT given. Status – Patient expired after 8 months.
What are the warning signs of head and neck cancers?
- A sore on the lip or in the mouth that does not heal for more than 3 weeks
- A lump on the lip or in the mouth or throat that persist for more than 3 weeks
- A white (leukoplakia) or red patch on the gums, tongue or lining of the mouth
- Unusual bleeding, pain or numbness in the mouth
- A sore throat or a feeling that something is caught in the throat that lasts for more than a month or that does not respond to antibiotics
- Difficulty or pain with chewing or swallowing
- Swelling of the jaw that causes dentures to fit poorly or become uncomfortable
- A change in the voice or hoarseness lasting more than 3 weeks
- Pain in the ear without evidence of local ear problems
- Slurred speech
- Loose teeth not associated with any gum problems
- Unintended weight loss
- Swelling, numbness, paralysis of the muscles in the face or pain that does not go away in the face, chin, or neck.
- Chronic sinus infections that do not respond to treatment with antibiotics
- Bleeding through the nose, frequent headaches, swelling or other trouble with the eyes.
Having any of the following symptoms for more than two-three weeks warrants a visit to a head and neck specialist.
NB: These symptoms may be caused by cancer or by other, less serious conditions. Sometimes there are no warning signs.
Factors Delaying the Diagnosis of Head and Neck Cancers
- Patient procrastination in seeking medical attention
- Physician delay in diagnosis
- Patient remains asymptomatic for a prolonged period