The ratio of oral cavity cancers is increasing day by day. Squamous cell carcinoma is the most common cancer. Gums(Upper and lower), Floor of the mouth, hard palate, and tongue are the multiple subsites of the oral cavity. This also includes retromolar trigone. The incidence of retromolar trigone cancer is around 1.5% of the total oral cancers.
The affected subsite will reveal the clinical symptoms of cancer. Surgical approaches or reconstructive techniques are always considered first-line treatments. Although the distance between the sites is a few millimeters apart. A triangular mucosal fold is known to be a retromolar trigone. It is located behind the last molar.
Laterally the RMT (retromolar trigone) is bound to the mandible and medially to the crest. Retromolar trigone cancers are very rare as compared to mouth-associated cancers. There are high chances that this cancer can spread to the following regions in its primary stages:
- Masticator space
- Pterygoid muscles
- Infratemporal fossa
- Lymphatic system
Retromolar Trigone Cancer Symptoms
The changes in your oral cavity should be noticed and addressed properly before it’s too late. It is best to consult your healthcare provider, so retromolar trigone cancer can be detected at an early stage. When the disease progresses to later stages, it might be difficult to treat cancer. It also depletes the quality of life leaving the patient bedridden or dependent.
Following signs and symptoms are commonly experienced in the case of retromolar trigone cancer:
- A hard lump on the lips or any other area of the mouth can be extremely painful and inflamed.
- A mouth infection, which doesn’t get better with antibiotics or other medications. Especially if the infection is there for over a month.
- A patch that can be red or any other color in the mouth
- Numbness of particular area of the mouth
- Loss of teeth
- Dentures will not fit easily
Retromolar Trigone Cancer Causes
The exact cause of retromolar trigone cancer or other oral cancers is still unknown. But the researchers have figured out the risk factors that might be the leading cause of these types of cancer. Genetic variation is one of the factors that might lead to retromolar trigone cancer. When the genes are abnormal they are termed oncogenes.
DNA mutations play a major role in the development of cancer. As they can trigger the oncogenes and deteriorate tumor suppressor genes. Moreover, heavy use of tobacco and alcohol can lead to damage of the DNA in the cells. The combination of both will have deleterious effects. Chemicals of tobacco directly damage the DNA lining mouth or oral cavity.
Acetaldehyde in alcohol damages the oral lining of the mouth. This can lead to cancer. If the patient will not cut off these habits, he might suffer from serious health consequences that might lead to death.
Retromolar Trigone Cancer Staging
The extent of the tumor(T) is the major factor to determine the stage of cancer. Apart from that, metastases to distant sites(M) and then spread to lymphatics(N) play an important role too. T, N, and M are the given alphabets that represent the different stages of retromolar trigone cancer.
Here is the staging of cancer:
Cancer has not spread to the deep layers and it is still in the epithelium. Carcinoma in situ is the common name for this stage (Tis)
The size of the tumor can be 2 cm or smaller than this. The spread of the cancer is not seen at this stage.
The size of the cancer is enlarged in the stage and it is spread to the nearby sites and lymphatic nodes.
Cancer in this stage spreads to the nearby organs causing more damage to the patient.
In this stage, cancer might spread to distant sites like the breast, lungs, or other organs. The size of the tumor can vary.
Retromolar Trigone Cancer Survival Rate
Higher consumption of alcohol and tobacco makes oral cancer the eighth most common type of cancer around the world. The ratio of 5-year survival rate in the patients suffering from retromolar trigone cancer is around 36%. It is seen that some countries or regions have a better response to cancer if detected early, which makes the survival rate up to 45%.
When compared to other oral cancers, retromolar trigone cancer has the least survival rate. The main reason is that it can be daunting to diagnose cancer at early stages. The diagnosis can be confused with the symptoms of other relevant cancers. It is advised to discuss any abnormal changes with your doctor as early as possible.
Retromolar Trigone Cancer Treatment
The information regarding the treatment strategies of retromolar trigone cancer is very limited. But according to the latest research, it is better to go for surgical resection. Moreover, radiation therapy can be used in combination or alone. Bone invasion is important when treating the advanced stages.
Radiation, chemotherapy, and surgery are the only treatment options available for retromolar trigone cancer. In the absence of bone invasion, wide excision is necessary in the case of surgery. Radiation therapy is less morbid than surgery and can be used as an alternative.
The efficacy of each treatment depends on the condition of every patient individually. It depends on the factors causing cancer and for how long the patient has been suffering from the disease.