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Understanding oral cancer

MELODY MUPETA, Kitwe
ARNOLD Musebela*, 84, lies in his hospital bed, frantically wanting to express himself but his words are muffled.
It is difficult to make ‘head or tail’ from what he is trying to say because he has lost his tongue to a disease called oral cancer.
Though little-known, oral cancer has devastating effects and is ranked as the third commonest cancer worldwide.
Kitwe Teaching Hospital (KTH) dental surgeon Dominic Muswala explains that oral cancer is a disease of the mouth, with potential to spread to other parts of the body if not detected early.
Dr Muswala says the cancer could start by a patient developing a reddish and whitish lesion in the mouth.
“The lesion develops at the back and sides of the tongue, ridges of teeth or inside the cheeks,” he says.
Dr Muswala says there are different types of oral cancer, but the common one is squamous cell carcinoma.
He explains that it is difficult to detect oral cancer because it does not often CLICK TO READ MORE



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