Cancer of the jaw: symptoms, photo, treatment, prognosis
Cancer of the jaw is an unpleasant and dangerous disease that requires prompt therapy. As the statistics show, 15% of all applications to dentistry are associated with various neoplasms originating from bone tissue. Not all of them are caused by the development of cancer cells. Only 1-2% are a sign of oncology. There is no specific age for this ailment. The cancer of the jaw develops both in the elderly and in infants. Treatment of the disease in this case has many difficulties, since in this zone there are large vessels and nerves. Each patient needs an individual approach.
Why the disease occurs
Cancer cells usually develop from the spongy substance of the bone marrow, periosteum, neurogenic cells, vessels and odontogenic structures. The reasons for the development of this disease to the end has not yet been studied. However, the specialists established several main factors, due to which the jaw cancer develops:
- Trauma is chronic. This includes a bruise, an improperly installed crown, a seal, and a prosthesis that causes permanent rubbing of the gums.
- Damage to the oral mucosa.
- Inflammatory process.
- Ionizing radiation.
Cancer of the jaw: symptoms
How to recognize the ailment? At the initial stage, the cancer proceeds without any signs. The first symptoms are:
- Numbness of the skin of the face.
- Unpleasant odor from the mouth, as well as purulent discharge from the nose.
- Pain sensations in the area of the lower or upper jaw, for no apparent reason.
Similar symptoms may be signs of other ailments, for example, neuritis, sinusitis, sinusitis and so on. For an accurate diagnosis, the patient must undergo an additional examination. In many cases, the possibility of timely cancer therapy is lost.
Other signs of
With sarcomas of the upper jaw, other symptoms gradually appear. Patients begin to complain about:
- Swelling in the cheek area.
- Pain or numbness in the teeth located in the immediate vicinity of the neoplasm.
- Loosening of the teeth, which is a sign of osteoporosis.
- Increased alveolar processes.
- Curvature of the jaw and deformation of the face.
The jaw cancer, the symptoms of which are described above, can progress very quickly. As a result of the development of cancer cells, there is often a swelling of the tissues, which eventually leads to asymmetry. After this, patients begin to complain of severe pain.
Upper jaw cancer usually extends to the eye area. Often tumors begin to germinate and cause the following consequences:
- Displacement of the eyeball.
- Pathological fracture in the jaw area.
- Nasal bleeding, recurring without any particular reason.
- Headache giving to the frontal part or to the whiskey.
- Painful sensations in the ear region. This phenomenon occurs after involvement in the trigeminal nerve process.
In addition to the above, the patient can have small bleeding ulcers, localized on the mucous membrane of the mouth, gums, cheeks and other soft tissues. Often there is a violation of the opening and closing jaws. This makes eating difficult. This phenomenon indicates that the cancerous tumor has spread to the chewing and pterygoid muscle.
Symptoms for lower jaw cancer
Cancer of the mandible is characterized by several other signs. Here it is necessary to carry:
- Pain at palpation. Falling and shakiness of teeth.
- Discomfort and pain in contact with teeth. Bad odor from the mouth.
- Bleeding sores on the oral mucosa.
- Numbness of lower lip.
It should be noted that a cancerous tumor located in the lower jaw develops rather quickly and is accompanied by pain syndrome and rapid metastasis.
Diagnosis of pathology
Early jaw cancer is very difficult to diagnose because of nonspecific symptoms. After all, signs of the disease can be attributed to other ailments. Diagnosis of the same jaw cancer is carried out at the stage of metastases. Many patients are not alerted to the symptoms described above. In addition, the disease can take a long time without obvious signs. This complicates its diagnosis in the early stages.
To identify the disease allows x-rays. If cancerous growths occur precisely from odontogenic material, then such a survey provides significantly more information than other methods. Thanks to the roentgenogram, it is possible to detect the destruction of the septa and the widening of the periodontal gaps.
The pictures give an opportunity to see any changes: healthy teeth do not touch the bone, the alveolar edge has fuzzy contours, the decalcification zone has spread to the jaw's body and so on.
We determine the ailment by X-ray
So, how can we detect the cancer of the jaw from the roentgenogram? Diagnosis of this disease is a complex process. X-ray can detect the presence of pathology by the following features:
- Bone destruction.
- Destruction of sponges loops.
- Blurred contours of the transitions of healthy bones to the area of destruction.
- Weaving stripes formed as a result of confluence of several foci of destruction.
Other ways to diagnose
In addition to the X-ray, the jaw cancer, the photo of which is presented above, can be diagnosed in other ways. The patient should undergo a complete clinical examination, including blood and urine tests, fluorography of the respiratory system. The given researches allow to reveal presence of inflammatory process in an organism, acceleration of speed of a sedimentation of erythrocytes, and also anemia. To exclude metastases, a lung examination is required.
Often used to diagnose the cancer of the jaw is the method of computed tomography of the sinuses of the nose. This allows you to determine the exact location of cancer. In addition, tomography and scintigraphy are used. A specialist can prescribe a test such as a puncture biopsy of the lymph node. This method allows you to determine metastasis.
The most accurate way to diagnose is to study in a laboratory of affected tissues. In some cases, trepanation of the jaw is required. If the tumor does not originate from the bone, then the material can be taken from the hole formed after the extraction of the tooth.
Cancer of the jaw: treatment of
Therapy pathology is complex. It includes not only surgical intervention, but gamma-therapy. Operations are carried out to remove the jaw. This can be exarticulation or resection. The cancer of the jaw is not treated with chemotherapy, as it does not give a result.
To begin with, the patient is exposed to gamma-ray therapy. It allows you to significantly reduce the size of the cancer neoplasm. After three weeks, the jaw is removed. In some cases, more extensive operation is required, which often involves the exenteration of the orbit, lymphadenectomy and sanitation of the paranasal sinuses.
A few years after the operation, orthopedic correction is required, which allows to hide all the defects. Conduct it, usually with the use of various bone plates and tires. Such procedures require the patience of the patient, as in some cases there is a need to restore swallowing and chewing functions, as well as speech.
It should be noted that restoring the lower jaw is a very complicated process that does not always end successfully. In such situations, stainless steel, tantalum, plastic for fixing implants are often used.
Can jaw cancer return? The prognosis in this case is disappointing, since a relapse can occur within a few years after the operation. The five-year survival rate for such pathology is no more than 30%.When detection of oncology at later stages, this indicator is significantly reduced. The percentage of five-year survival in this case is no more than 20%.