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Shining a Light on Oral, Head & Neck Cancer Awareness Week at B. P. Poddar Hospital & Medical Research Limited

Cancer, in its various forms, remains one of the most significant health challenges worldwide. Among the many types of cancer, Oral, Head, and Neck Cancer (OHNC) stands out due to its impact on essential functions like eating, speaking, and breathing. To address this critical issue, B. P. Poddar Hospital & Medical Research Limited is proud to announce its participation in the Oral, Head & Neck Cancer Awareness Week.

Understanding Oral, Head & Neck Cancer:

Oral, Head & Neck Cancer collectively refers to cancers that originate in the mouth, throat, larynx, sinuses, nose, and salivary glands. These cancers often present significant challenges due to their proximity to vital structures and functions of the head and neck region.  

Risk Factors:

Several factors contribute to the development of OHNC, including:
Tobacco and alcohol use: Smoking and excessive alcohol consumption are significant risk factors.
Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection: Certain strains of HPV have been linked to an increased risk of head and neck cancers.
Prolonged sun exposure: UV radiation can lead to skin cancers on the face, lips, and neck.
Poor oral hygiene: Chronic irritation from ill-fitting dentures or poor dental hygiene can contribute to oral cancers.
Genetic predisposition: Family history of cancer can increase the risk of developing OHNC.

The Importance of Awareness:

Early detection plays a crucial role in improving outcomes for patients with OHNC. Unfortunately, many cases are diagnosed at an advanced stage, leading to poorer prognosis and more aggressive treatment approaches. Through awareness initiatives like Oral, Head & Neck Cancer Awareness Week, we aim to educate the public about the signs, symptoms, and risk factors associated with these cancers.

Symptoms:

Common symptoms of OHNC include:
Persistent sore throat
Hoarseness or changes in voice
Difficulty swallowing or chewing
Lump or swelling in the neck
Persistent ear pain
Mouth ulcers that do not heal

Screening and Diagnosis:

Regular screenings and early detection are vital in the fight against OHNC. During Oral, Head & Neck Cancer Awareness Week, B. P. Poddar Hospital & Medical Research Limited will offer screening services to identify any suspicious lesions or abnormalities. Diagnosis typically involves a combination of physical examination, imaging tests, and biopsy.

Treatment Options:

Treatment for OHNC depends on various factors, including the type, stage, and location of the cancer. Options may include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, targeted therapy, or a combination of these modalities. Our multidisciplinary team of experts at B. P. Poddar Hospital & Medical Research Limited is dedicated to providing personalized treatment plans tailored to each patient's needs.

Prevention Strategies:

While not all cases of OHNC can be prevented, adopting healthy lifestyle habits can help reduce the risk. This includes:
Avoiding tobacco and excessive alcohol consumption
Practicing safe sun exposure and wearing protective clothing and sunscreen
Maintaining good oral hygiene and attending regular dental check-ups
Getting vaccinated against HPV

Conclusion:

Oral, Head & Neck Cancer Awareness Week serves as an opportunity to shine a light on these often-overlooked cancers and the importance of early detection and prevention. Through education, screening, and comprehensive care, we can make significant strides in improving outcomes and reducing the burden of OHNC on individuals and communities. B. P. Poddar Hospital & Medical Research Limited is proud to be at the forefront of this crucial initiative, working tirelessly to raise awareness and save lives.

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