Oropharyngeal cancer (cancer of the mouth)

General or Other | - Others | Oropharyngeal cancer (cancer of the mouth) (Disease)


Oropharyngeal cancer is uncommon. It can happen at any age, but it’s more likely to affect people over 50. It’s more common in men than in women. There are different types of oropharyngeal cancer, but the most common is squamous cell carcinoma. Other rare types include salivary gland cancer, lymphoma, small cell cancer and sarcoma.

The most common symptoms of cancer of the oropharynx are: a painless swelling or lump in the upper neck (you may feel this yourself or it may be picked up by your doctor or dentist), a sore throat that doesn’t get better, difficulty in swallowing, earache that doesn’t get better, difficulty opening your mouth and jaw (known as trismus), bad breath, changes in your speech, losing weight. These symptoms are common in conditions other than cancer, and most people with these symptoms won’t have cancer of the oropharynx.

Causes and Risk factors

The causes that could possibly cause oropharyngeal cancer include: (1) Smoking and chewing tobacco; (2) Heavy alcohol use; (3) A diet low in fruits and vegetables; (4) Drinking maté, a stimulant drink common in South America; (5) Chewing betel quid, a stimulant commonly used in parts of Asia; (6) Being infected with human papillomavirus (HPV)

Diagnosis and Treatment

There are different types of treatment for patients with oropharyngeal cancer. Patients with oropharyngeal cancer should have their treatment planned by a team of doctors with expertise in treating head and neck cancer. Three types of standard treatment are used: (1) surgery; (2) radiation therapy; (3) chemotherapy. ...

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