Oral cancer is characterized by altered oral mucosa, tissue thickening, palpable formation, ulcer in the oral mucosa. It is characteristic of oral cancer that it does not hurt in the early stages. Therefore, all oral ulcers that do not heal within two weeks should have a biopsy to rule out oral cancer.
Although oral cancer can develop in any location, the most common site where cancer is diagnosed is the tongue (up to 90%). Although smoking and alcohol use are the most common causes, oral hygiene, lack of dental care and imperfections are also important.
In cases of suspected oral cancer, a biopsy is not required. If the diagnosis is confirmed, it is important to evaluate the condition of the lymph nodes and lungs in the neck to rule out the metastatic process. Neck ultrasonography, head, neck, and lung computed tomography, and magnetic resonance imaging are widely used to rule out metastatic processes.
The extent and depth of cancer spread in the relevant localization is crucial in the selection and treatment of oral cancer treatments. The basic method of treating oral cancer is surgery. Radiation therapy and chemotherapy are complementary treatments that are often combined with surgery. In the early stages, a simple tumor excision is sufficient. Tumor and cervical lymph nodes are removed in the late stages. In these cases, tissue reconstruction is required. Tissue reconstructions may be limited to soft tissue reconstruction with local tissues. In cases where the tumor has grown into adjacent tissues, reconstruction includes reconstruction of both soft tissues and bone structures. In particularly complex cases, reconstruction of facial parts can be performed with a complex tissue transplant. Additional radiation and chemotherapy are often indicated in patients with late-stage oral cancer.
At the Latvian Microsurgery Center, it is possible to perform microsurgical excision of tumors under optical magnification, performing microscopic resection lines during the operation, as well as performing reconstructive and / or plastic surgery in the final stage of the operation, using local plastic options. If necessary, tissue transplantation from various other parts of the body can be performed in microsurgical technique.
Patients diagnosed with early-stage oral cancer have a five-year survival rate of up to 80%, and patients with late-stage oral cancer have a five-year survival rate of 42%. For a patient who is not receiving treatment, the five-year survival rate is, unfortunately, only 12%.