Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Do I have mouth cancer, wants to get checked up

Do I have mouth cancer, wants to get checked up

Dear Sir,

                   My name is Raghvendra Upadhyay, age 28, resident of Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh. I am writing you inquring about process and costing for a mouth cancer check up. I used to chew guthka, smoked cigarettes but don't do such things any more. Neither I have any problem eating spicy food nor have any problem in opening my mouth but I have lost two of my friends because of mouth cancer within past year which made me think about it. I read some books and your website about mouth cancer and they all said that primary indication of mouth cancer is having a lump in the mouth and it can be treated if diagnosed in early stage. I do not know if I have any lump in my mouth or not but I just want to get a checkup for mouth cancer at Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai. I do not want to go to BHU or any other hospital in my city because they do not care about the patients well and in fact I just don't believe them. Both of my friends who died of mouth cancer went to BHU first and they had really bad experience.
So please help me by giving some information about how my mouth can be diagnosed, how much would it cost and how long does it take to get the results?

Waiting for your reply,

Raghvendra Upadhyay
Uttar Pradesh

Dear Raghvendra,
I would like to answer your queries one by one
1.    Cost of mouth cancer check up should not be too much, but might depend upon place to place. What I would suggest is get your mouth checked up from a good dentist locally for a lesion in the mouth. The rule of thumb is a non healing ulcer for more than 15days should make you rush for the check up, even if it is not painful. The doctors might inspect your mouth for a suspicious lesion and if needed do some tests before arriving at a final diagnosis.
2.    Since you don’t have problem in eating spicy food and not problem in opening your mouth it seems you don’t have any problem of oral cancer, but friend I haven’t examined your mouth, so if in case you want to be sure, get yourself checked.
3.    Friend, if your friends had bad experience, doesn’t mean that the Hospital is bad. BHU is a hospital which is serving a large population and has a large OPD. The doctors are overworked and therefore they tend to be a little irritated but they are also equally good. Same is the condition in Tata Memorial Hospital. This tobacco habit is causing cancer in epidemic proportions in India, and the doctors and staff are really stretched to the limit. We need understanding individuals who spread the awareness about tobacco habit and mouth cancer so that this cancer can be prevented and the load on this hospital can be reduced.
4.    It is very unfortunate that your friends have died and you have suddenly realized the magnanimity of the problem. But unfortunately we don’t spread our knowledge and don’t speak against the habits. Are you ready to start a crusade in your town, your village where in every individual is counseled regarding the evil of this supposedly simple habit. Would you open your mouth or let many more deaths happen around you.
5.    Regarding results of tests done for checking for cancer don’t take too long; 4 to 5 days should be more than enough to get all the reports.
I have tried to explain almost all your queries, if anything more feel free to write to me.

Dr Suwas Darvekar
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