Caring For The Oral Cancer Patient

1481 Words6 Pages
Caring for the Oral Cancer Patient
Sonja Black
Brown Mackie College Greenville

Oral cancer is considered to be any cancer that affects the head or neck with the exclusion of the brain. According to The Oral Cancer Foundation, over 43 thousand people will be diagnosed with oral cancer yearly and of that number over 8 thousand of these cases will result in death (Hill, Deitz, & Sax, 2014, p. para 1). Oral cancer consists of squamous cell carcinoma, basal cell carcinoma, Kaposi’s sarcoma, lymphoma, and benign oral cavity tumors. Squamous cell carcinoma is the most common type of oral cancer and is responsible for at least 90% of all oral cancers (Ignatavicius & Workman, 2013, p. 1196). Oral cancer is initially formed by an
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1197). The results of an evidence-based study concluded that serum and saliva might also be beneficial when used as a diagnostic test marker for oral cancer (Dadhich, Prabhu, Pai, D ' Souza, Harish, & Jose, 2014).
Risk Factors As with most diseases, prevention is the best approach and even though there is no definite answer to why cancer develops, there are several risk factors that may suggest that oral cancer is probable. The use of tobacco and alcohol increase the risk of developing oral cancer as so does the incident of contracting a HPV infection, which is the Human Papillomavirus (Hill, Deitz, & Sax, 2014, p. para 6). According to recent studies, HPV is becoming the leading factor in patients with oral cancer. Patients should be assessed and screened for alcohol and tobacco abuse as well as the possibility of exposure to the HPV virus to determine their risk for oral cancer. Some other risk factors that may not be apparent are the exposure to the sun for prolonged periods of time without an effective sunscreen agent and a history of previous oral cancer (Hill, Deitz, & Sax, 2014). A comprehensive assessment should be performed to measure the probability of this patient developing oral cancer.
Home Care Management
Patients should be educated on how to maintain their health while they are at
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