• cancer
    An overview of cancers caused by an HPV infection

    HPV or human papillomavirus is passed from one person to another through skin contact. With more than 150 different types of HPV, it is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the country. Most women and men might not show HPV cancer symptoms. However, certain strains of HPV might cause warts on various parts of the body. Other types of strains might cause pre-cancerous lesions, which can turn cancerous if not treated in time.

    An infection caused by HPV can cause cancer symptoms, such as warts on the hands and feet. However, there are at least 40 other strains of viruses of HPV that can cause cancerous symptoms in the genital and oral area. It is commonly caused due to oral, anal, or vaginal sex.

    In women, genital HPV can cause cancerous symptoms on both the outer and the inner surface of the vagina. It can also affect the penile and anal area in men. The strains of HPV that infects the genital area in the form of warts or lesions are commonly referred to as HPV-16 or HPV-18. These particular types of HPV cause warts varying in shape, size, and number, rarely leading to cancer. Other than these, HPV 6 and HPV 11 are “low-risk” infections that cause warts on the hands or the legs.

    Most people with a healthy immune system are able to get rid of the infection without any serious health complications. However, “high-risk” HPV can cause a lasting infection, which over the course of years can cause pre-cancerous symptoms.

    Types of cancers caused by an HPV

    Oral cancer
    It includes cancer of the mouth and the tongue. It can also cause cancer of the oropharynx, which is the middle part of the throat including the tip of tonsils and voice box. Changes in sexual behavior can contribute to oral cancer in both the genders.

    Cervical cancer
    This is the most common form of cancer caused because of an HPV. Almost 70% of cervical cancers are caused due to HPV virus strain 16 and 18. Smoking also increases the risk of suffering from cervical cancer as it weakens the immune system.

    Managing the symptoms of cancer caused by an HPV
    There are vaccines available to reduce the risk of suffering from HPV cancers but cannot cure an existing infection. While it is difficult to cure cancer, doctors usually treat to reduce HPV cancer symptoms caused by an HPV infection. Pre-cancerous lesions and warts are removed using the following ways:

    • Freezing techniques
    • Surgery
    • Medicated creams that can be applied topically on genital warts
    • Electrosurgical excision procedure that uses electric currents for removing abnormal tissues

    Hence, it is necessary to consult an oncologist for appropriate treatment after noticing symptoms of HPV infection as they can turn pre-cancerous if overlooked.

  • cancer
    Common symptoms of oral HPV cancer

    One of the most common sexually transmitted infections, the human papillomavirus (HPV) holds the probability of affecting every individual that is sexually active. One of the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI), there are more than 100 different types of HPV and another 40 subtypes. An HPV can affect one’s genital area or throat. It usually spreads through skin-to-skin contact. Engaging in oral sex is one of the most common ways of contracting HPV of the mouth and throat.

    HPV can be cured; however, certain types of HPV, commonly known as high-risk HPV, can lead to certain types of cancer. One such type is oral HPV cancer.

    The oral HPV cancer symptoms are limited or even absent in a few cases. This usually leads to patients ignoring the condition as there are no bodily changes that hint toward the development of cancer. Negligence and delay in the treatment process are, therefore, strongly associated with this condition. Warts in the mouth or throat are the only direct HPV cancer symptoms that can encourage the patient to get the necessary treatment. A mouth and throat HPV can often lead to oropharyngeal cancer. Strong symptoms start showing when the infection transforms into cancer. The cells are usually formed in the middle of the throat, tonsils, tongue, or pharynx walls.

    Timely treatment is crucial in the treatment of any type of cancer. Below are a few early signs and symptoms that should encourage patients to consult a doctor and get tested for a throat and mouth HPV cancer:

    • Development of an ulcer or a sore in the mouth that does not heal for 2-3 weeks, sometimes even longer. It is one of the most common symptoms for HPV mouth and throat cancer.
    • A significant change in the color of the patient’s tongue due to an imparity in the soft tissues of the mouth. These tissues can adopt a red, black, or white discoloration.
    • The tonsils could swell leading to a difficulty in swallowing. The patient can feel a large amount of pain and a stinging sensation of something being stuck while trying to swallow.
    • Asymmetrical swelling in both the tonsils is a symptom of mouth and throat HPV cancer.
    • Along with pain while swallowing, the patient can also feel intense pain while chewing in further stages of this condition.
    • Some of the persistent and common HPV cancer symptoms are a sore throat, swelling or lump in the mouth, numbness in the lips or mouth, and coughing.
  • cancer
    4 common challenges that cancer caregivers face

    Cancer in any form is quite fatal. It can be treated only when diagnosed in the initial stages. In the later stages, cancer treatments are directed towards managing the symptoms and providing relief to the patient. Life becomes quite difficult for cancer patients as their body starts deteriorating, preventing them from carrying out their daily activities. However, this is where cancer caregivers step in. These caregivers look after most of the patient’s day-to-day tasks.

    Cancer caregivers can be one’s partner, family members, or friends. One can even hire a professional cancer caregiver for this very purpose. Cancer caregivers ensure that the patient experiences some normalcy in their life. They also play a vital role in providing emotional support to their patients whenever needed. The duties of a cancer caregiver include giving medications, managing the side effects, and informing the doctor about any problems faced by the patient.

    Cancer caregivers provide around-the-clock care to cancer patients but face certain hurdles while doing so. The common obstacles experienced by cancer caregivers are as follows:

    Shifting roles
    A cancer caregiver can be one’s spouse, sibling, or any other relative, and this means that the caregiver has to play multiple roles. A caregiver has to dedicate their time to several duties such as accompanying the cancer patient to their next chemotherapy appointment, ensuring that all the bills are paid, etc. These changing roles can prove to be quite taxing and can strain the caregiver’s relationship with their loved ones. On the one hand, the cancer caregiver has to attend to the patient, and on the other hand, they have to ensure that they fulfill their work responsibilities too.

    Cancer caregiving is a noble job, but it is physically and emotionally draining. As there are so many things to be done, it takes a toll on the caregiver’s health as well. They may experience fatigue, loss of appetite, or insomnia. On the emotional front, cancer caregivers often experience anxiety, anger, guilt, frustration, or helplessness, as they feel that their efforts are futile because their loved ones aren’t showing signs of improvement.

    Watching a loved one slowly lose their battle against cancer is quite heart-wrenching. It can affect the cancer caregiver’s mental health immensely. Caregivers often suffer from depression as they feel their efforts are futile. Also, they tend to shift their entire focus on ensuring that the cancer patient’s needs are met and ignore themselves while doing so. Though empathizing with the patient is necessary, one shouldn’t lose themselves in the process.

    Cancer caregiving is a demanding job. In a bid to get everything done, cancer caregivers often fall prey to illnesses that stem out of exhaustion and carelessness. Fatigue, loss of appetite, and depression pose a great threat to the caregiver’s health.

  • cancer
    Four effective tips to be a better cancer caregiver

    Cancer is treatable only when it is identified in its initial stages. Once cancer metastasizes, the treatment methods are directed towards relieving the painful symptoms of cancer and limiting its progress. The treatment methods are long term, and the affected individual undergoes several physical and psychological changes through the course of treatment. It is a difficult time for the patient and their family as the individual’s health deteriorates gradually.

    As the disease progress, there is a decline in the patient’s ability to perform daily activities, and it becomes imperative to have around-the-clock care for the individual. Cancer caregivers are those individuals who help the patient deal with cancer and help patients in their endeavor to try and lead a normal life. Cancer caregivers can be spouses, family members, or even close friends. One can even hire professional cancer caregivers for this purpose.

    Here are some effective ways in which one can become an expert cancer caregiver for the patient:

    • Emotionally supportive: The long-term cancer treatment methods aim to relieve the patient by reducing the severity of the symptoms. However, the patient would be emotionally distraught as well, and in such cases, they long for emotional support. As a cancer caregiver, it is one’s duty to help the individual maintain a sense of control over their lives, and care for their emotional well-being too.
    • Managing tasks: Cancer caregivers have a lot of responsibilities such as giving medicines to the patient on time, managing the side-effects, reporting problems to the doctor, and keeping the friends or family in the loop. So, to ensure that each of these tasks is completed seamlessly, it is advisable to create a list of tasks and execute each one of these on time.
    • Be a problem solver: Challenges would present themselves every once in a while during the course of caregiving. As a cancer caregiver, one has to be a problem solver; it is advisable to take charge and plan for emergencies. Moreover, it is imperative to identify the problems faced by the patient and devise ways to help them overcome these obstacles. Also, one shouldn’t deter from asking for help or advice from a more experienced individual.
    • Communicate effectively: One of the major duties of cancer caregivers is to communicate with the patient under their care. A caregiver can perform this task brilliantly if they ensure that there are no obstacles in communication. So, it is necessary to assure the patient that they will be a central part of all the discussions and decisions, and this will help the patients shed any inhibitions they experience while communicating.


  • cancer
    Know the early signs and symptoms of mouth cancer

    Mouth cancer is a type of neck and head cancer that can occur anywhere in the mouth, lips, tongue’s surface, inside of the cheek, gums, floor or roof of the mouth, in the salivary glands, and in the tonsils. The treatment for mouth cancer is the same as other neck and head cancers. Almost 50 thousand people were diagnosed with this cancer in the country in 2016. More than 9 thousand deaths with this cancer were predicted that year. The detection of the signs and symptoms of mouth cancer should be done at the earliest so that one can get treated soon.

    Mouth cancer usually affects people in their mid to late 40s. This cancer affects men more than women. It is difficult to identify this cancer based on the symptoms in the early stage as there are often no noticeable and visible signs. However, the common signs and symptoms of mouth cancer include the following.

    • Jaw pain and stiffness in the jaw
    • Mouth ulcers and mouth sores that don’t heal on their own or with normal medication
    • Persistent swelling
    • Thickening or a lump in the lining of the mouth
    • Pain while swallowing
    • Sore throat
    • Pain in the tongue
    • Hoarse voice
    • Neck pain
    • Loose teeth without any reason
    • Abnormal looking red and white patches in the mouth or throat white patches are called leukoplakia and red patches are called erythroplakia
    • Weight loss
    • Bad breath
    • Unusual bleeding

    Not all of these signs and symptoms indicate that a person has mouth cancer, however, it is best to go to a doctor when one sees more than two of these symptoms. Although the red and white patches can be caused by Thrush, a fungal infection, if there is even one sign and symptom that is unusual or unexplained, it is advised that one get it medically examined for mouth cancer. Any cancer, when diagnosed in its early stage, can be treated and cured.

    There is no exact cause of mouth cancer, but there can be multiple factors that may lead to the same. Tobacco (cigars, cigarettes, etc.) increases the risk of developing oral cancer. According to the report by a cancer foundation, 90 percent of people who were diagnosed with mouth/oral cancer consumed tobacco in large quantities. Apart from tobacco, people who are heavy alcohol consumers have higher chances of developing mouth cancer.

    Additionally, an unhealthy lifestyle, age, and bad eating habits are some factors that contribute to the risk of developing mouth cancer. A diet that lacks nutrition of fruits and vegetables makes a body weak and hence more prone to illnesses such as cancer.

  • cancer
    Common signs and symptoms of mouth cancer you shouldn’t miss

    Mouth cancer is usually identified with all types of cancers that occur in the tongue, lips, gums, cheeks, and throat. It is also a type of head and neck cancer. Like other cancers, it becomes difficult to treat when the diagnosis is delayed, and the cancerous cells spread in the body. According to the study done by an oral cancer foundation, around 20% of the people who have mouth cancer die every year. Mouth cancer can affect anyone, and that makes it important to know about all the possible warning signs and symptoms of mouth cancer in women as it can help people get it treated at the earliest.

    For the better understanding of early warning signs, here is a list of signs and symptoms of oral/mouth cancer in women.

    • Ulcers and mouth sores
      The occurrence of ulcers and mouth sores is common in those who have mouth cancer. Mouth sores can be abnormal in most people. They can appear around the lips, inside the cheeks, gums, and throat. They can be small or large in size. It is important to pay attention to the time these sores take to heal. If their healing time is unreasonably long, then it can be a serious issue and should be given medical attention. When there are such occurrences in the mouth with no sign of healing, a doctor’s appointment should be scheduled.
    • Patches in the throat or mouth
      There are two types of patches, red and white, that can occur in the mouth and throat area. These patches can be due to a fungal infection or mouth cancer. In case there is an uncertainty about the cause of these patches, it is advised that one pays their doctor a visit. These patches are the early signs and symptoms of mouth cancer in women and hence it needs to be treated as soon as possible.
    • Sore throat
      There are several causes of a sore throat, and it is also a symptom of several illnesses that are not dangerous or serious; however, if a sore throat is persistent, then it can be an issue. If there is a persistent difficulty in swallowing anything, that can also be because of a sore throat. If you find that a sore throat is worsening by every passing day, then ut it time to consult a doctor about the same.
    • Halitosis
      Halitosis can be mistaken for bad breath. There are multiple causes of bad breath, but halitosis is different from bad breath. It is a foul odor in the mouth which occurs due to unhygienic oral health. This is one of the most important signs and symptoms of mouth cancer that shouldn’t be avoided. Unlike bad breath, halitosis cannot be curbed by breath mints, brushing, or mouthwash. That is when one should take this issue to a medical professional to know its severity.

    Identifying the signs and symptoms of mouth cancer in women is imperative. If one is unable to identify, pictures of the signs and symptoms on the web can help. Getting a medical check-up for the same is highly advised as well.

  • cancer
    Symptoms, diagonosis, and treatment options for mouth cancer

    Mouth cancer is caused due to rapid, uncontrolled growth of cells within the local region of your mouth. When cancer starts spreading to other areas of the mouth, neck, and head, the condition is referred to as metastatic mouth cancer.

    In metastatic mouth cancer, the cells grow out of control due to mutation and destroy healthy cells in the vicinity. Cancer can also spread to other parts of the body using the circulatory or lymph node system in severe cases. In most cases, cancer is detected at a later stage that reduces the chances of survival.

    Common signs and symptoms of mouth cancer

    • A sore throat with persistent irritation is an indicator of developing cancer
    • Open sores that bleed frequently in your mouth can indicate cell degeneration
    • The unusual growth of muscle and tissue on the lining of your mouth
    • Loose teeth indicate shifting due to damaged gums and surrounding muscle tissue
    • Pain in your jaw as a result of tissue degradation

    All these symptoms commonly affect your lips, gums, tongue, the lining, roof, and floor of your mouth. They are identifiable in the early stages of the condition when you go for a routine dental checkup. However, the symptoms are far more severe once cancer reaches the lymph nodes. Treatment at this stage often yields poor results as the body is unable to cope with the rapid cell growth and good tissue degradation

    Diagnosis and treatment options for metastatic mouth cancer
    A physical examination will reveal the abnormalities in your mouth. Diagnosis includes the removal of tissue for further analysis and laboratory testing to determine the extent of the damage. Sentinel node biopsy is a common and effective diagnostic procedure. The tests are done to determine the stage of mouth cancer as advanced stages of metastasis cannot be cured. Alternative methods for diagnosis include the use of the camera in endoscopy and imaging tests including X-rays, CT scans, MRIs, and PET scans to determine viable treatment options.

    Treatment options
    The stage and location of the mouth cancer will also determine the type of treatment options to make the condition to a certain extent. In the earlier stages, surgery is a viable option to remove the tumor and reconstruct areas of your mouth due to cancer.

    In advanced stages of cancer, medical professionals recommend radiation therapy that uses high energy beams to kill the cancer cells. Chemotherapy is an alternative to radiation and uses chemicals to destroy the cancer cells to prevent the mutation from spreading. Targeted medications are also used in combination with chemotherapy and radiation therapy to gradually destroy the cancerous cells.