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Jaw cancer


Cancer of the jaw falls within the scope of oral cancers. In the case of jaw cancer, the bone that is affected in the upper jaw is called the maxilla and in the lower jaw the mandible. There are several types of cancer of the jaw since they develop in bones, and thus all types of bone cancer can be manifested. Generally, these tumors are relatively rare, and even more so at the jaw. Among these, one can find an osteosarcoma, chondrosarcoma ...


In general, tumors of the jaw manifest themselves through:
- pain in the affected area;
- Pain when chewing or speaking;
- occasionally, a slight deformation of words;
- dental problems due to the tumor: abnormal or moving teeth.


In the case of evocative clinical signs, a clinical examination of the jaw, teeth and the inside of the mouth can help clarify any abnormal lesions. Often a doctor will ask for a radiograph of the whole jawbone and mandible during an exam called orthopantomogram. In the case of a suspicious lesion, an X-ray, CT, or MRI may be needed for a more precise study of the tumor. If the lesion is suspected to be cancerous, a sample called a biopsy is necessary to analyze its nature. If cancer is confirmed it is necessary to see if it has spread to other parts of the body.


According to the nature and progress of the cancer, several alternatives are available for the treatment of cancer of the jaw. It may consist of surgical removal, chemotherapy, or radiotherapy. The combination of these techniques is also possible.