Dentaltown August 2021 - 55

Squamous cell carcinoma is the most
common oral cancer, representing 90% of
oral cancer types.6
About 40% of intraoral
cancer occurs in the fl oor of the mouth
or the lateral and ventral surfaces of the
tongue.7
Manu's lesion was in one of the
high-risk zones, the lateral border of the
left side of his tongue.
Risk factors
Although there are several risk factors
for oral cancer (see box on facing page),
the only one that applied to Manu was
his gender. It is thought that males are at
higher risk because of poor lifestyle habits,
but Manu was young, a nonsmoker, had
no medical conditions, played sports, ate
a well-balanced diet, did not use tobacco,
only had the occasional drink and had no
family history of oral cancer.
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a risk
factor for oropharyngeal cancers-those at
the base of the tongue, tonsils and back of
the throat. According to the CDC, HPV
is the cause of 70% of oropharyngeal
cancers in the United States.8
In Canada,
intraoral cancer rates increased by 3.4%
between 2003 and 2013, largely because
of increases in HPV infection.9
It is not
known if Manu had HPV, because he was
not tested. But it is known that the HPV
vaccine protects against HPV type 16, which
is the type most commonly associated with
oropharyngeal cancer.10
As you can see, people with no risk
factors can still get cancer; cancer can affect
anyone. Improving oral cancer awareness,
advising patients to decrease risk factors of
oral cancer, encouraging the HPV vaccine,
recognizing signs and symptoms of oral
cancer, and ensuring patients get a prompt
diagnosis and referral for treatment are all
ways dentists can prevent oral cancer and
increase survival rates.
Treatment
Treatment for Stage 1 and 2 squamous
cell carcinoma of the tongue involves surgical
removal of the tumor and any affected
lymph nodes. If the surgery does not remove
all the cancer or there is a high chance for
recurrence, radiation or chemoradiation
may also be performed. If surgery cannot
be performed (usually because of medical
reasons), radiation is done instead.11
In August 2019, a team of specialists
performed an eight-hour procedure on
Manu that included a glossectomy (removal
of the left side of his tongue) and removal
of the lymph nodes on the left side of his
neck. To reconstruct his tongue, the team
transplanted a fl ap from his left arm and the
radial artery from his left hand; they then
removed skin from his left thigh to cover
the wound on his hand. Manu also had a
tracheostomy to ensure his breathing was
not disturbed by postoperative swelling.
FREE FACTS, circle 13 on card
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Dentaltown August 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Dentaltown August 2021

Dentaltown August 2021 - Intro
Dentaltown August 2021 - Cover1
Dentaltown August 2021 - Cover2
Dentaltown August 2021 - 1
Dentaltown August 2021 - 2
Dentaltown August 2021 - 3
Dentaltown August 2021 - 4
Dentaltown August 2021 - 5
Dentaltown August 2021 - 6
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Dentaltown August 2021 - Cover3
Dentaltown August 2021 - Cover4
Dentaltown August 2021 - SI_1
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