Mouth Cancer Insurance
Mouth Cancer Insurance
Modern-day lifestyle has led to an ever-increasing growth in health-related risks. Cancer has become one of the most common critical illnesses today that requires prolonged treatment. Mouth cancer is a type of cancer that affects the parts of the mouth, including the lips, tongue, gums, mouth’s floor or roof, etc. The treatment of mouth cancer can be tedious. Also, the cost of treatment of the disease can take a toll on the patient’s mental health and pocket in the absence of critical illness insurance. Thus, buying a suitable medical insurance plan is crucial to have sufficient preparedness for unexpected medical expenses. You can avoid paying exorbitant medical costs from your pocket by paying a basic premium for health insurance. Not only this, but the benefits of health insurance also include tax benefits under Section 80D of the Income Tax Act, 1961.
You can trust Tata AIG’s health insurance plan to get quality treatment for mouth cancer. We ensure to take care of you at every step. Our critical illness insurance will cover everything from cashless hospitalisation to pre-hospitalisation and post-hospitalisation costs. Read on and find out more about mouth cancer, its causes, symptoms, stages and treatment. Also, know how to buy health insurance online with Tata AIG.
What is Mouth Cancer?
Also known as oral or oral cavity cancer, mouth cancer is when a tumour appears in the mouth. The flat cells on the surface of the mouth, tongue, tonsils, etc. are known as squamous cells. Usually, oral cancer begins in these cells. A white or red patch on your lips or mouth can be a sign of squamous cell carcinoma. An individual with mouth cancer may not be aware of the disease until it becomes advanced with visible symptoms. The tumour can develop on the inside of the cheeks, the roof or floor of the mouth, tongue surface, lips or gums. It can sometimes develop in the tonsils, throat or saliva glands. Grouped in the category of the neck and head cancers, oral cancer can cause difficulty in speaking, chewing or swallowing.
Types of Mouth Cancer
There are five types of mouth cancer which are as follows:
- Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Squamous cells are found in the throat and the mouth that comprises 90 to 95% of cancer lesions in the oral cavity. Oral squamous cell carcinoma is among the most common types of mouth cancer. People who drink and smoke are more prone to this type of oral cancer.
- Oropharyngeal Squamous Cell Carcinoma
This type of cancer occurs at the back of the throat, the area which is called the oropharynx. Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is one of the causes of oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma. Usually, this cancer is hard to observe, but a hard lump in the neck can be a symptom to look for.
- Salivary Gland Lesions
Salivary gland cancers occur in the major salivary glands like submandibular, parotid and sublingual and minor glands found in the cheeks, lips or mouth roof. This type of cancer can occur in the form of a lump or have no symptoms.
- Basal Cell Carcinoma
Basal cell carcinoma is a type of skin cancer that occurs in the lips, nose, cheeks, etc. It develops due to sun exposure and doesn’t spread to other areas.
- Oral Melanoma
Oral melanoma is a rare type of mouth cancer which is difficult to detect until it is advanced. Therefore, the survival rate of oral melanoma is less.
Oral Cancer Stages
Cancer progresses gradually, and with each stage, the rate of survival usually becomes less. Therefore, knowing about the oral cancer stages is crucial because it determines its symptoms, diagnosis and treatment. Early detection of the disease in the initial stages leads to increased chances of cure and survival. Following are the stages of mouth cancer:
- Stage 0
In this stage, the oral cancer is confined to the cells lining the oral cavity. In the oral cancer starting stage, cancer is not deep and is called carcinoma in situ. Stage 0 cancer can be treated with surgery, radiation or both.
- Stage 1
Cancer in this stage is 2 cm in size or less. It does not spread to the lymph nodes or other body parts. With the increased chance of survival, stage 1 cancer is treated with radiation, surgery or both.
- Stage 2
By now cancer grows between 2-4 cm but doesn’t spread to lymph nodes or other areas. Medical practitioners treat stage 2 cancer with surgery, radiation or both. The chances of survival at this stage are good.
- Stage 3
With a tumour growth of more than 4 cm, cancer in this stage might spread to the lymph nodes but not to other body parts. Stage 3 mouth cancer is treated with surgery or radiation. But chemotherapy may be used to destroy cells that have spread. Other targeted treatments may be used.
- Stage 4
In stage 4, cancer spreads to lymph nodes and other areas. Doctors may use surgery, radiation, chemotherapy or a combination of treatments to remove the tumour or stop cancer cells from spreading.
- Recurrent Cancer
Recurrent cancer refers to the reappearance of cancer after treatment. Recurrent cancer progresses in similar stages and needs similar tests to diagnose the extent of its spread.
Mouth Cancer Causes
Mouth cancer develops due to mutations in cells on the lips or mouth. The mutation changes instruct the cells to grow and divide continuously, which leads to the formation of a tumour. Cancer may spread to the neck, head or other body parts with time. Oral cancer usually develops in the flat squamous cells, and therefore, most mouth cancers are called squamous cell carcinomas. While the reason for mutations in squamous cells is not known, some factors that cause mouth cancer sores include —
- Heavy tobacco and alcohol consumption
- Sexually transmitted Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
- Excessive exposure to UV rays
- Family history of oral cancers
- Poor oral hygiene
- Epstein-Barr virus
- Chewing areca or betel nut
- Weak immune system
Signs of Mouth Cancer
Identifying the signs of mouth cancer is the first step toward treatment. Thus, you must know the alarming signs of the disease, which are as follows:
- Painful mouth ulcers that do not heal.
- Loose teeth or sockets that do not heal.
- Unexplained lumps in the mouth or neck.
- Persistent numbness on the tongue and lip.
- Appearance of white or red patches in the mouth’s inner lining.
- Difficulty in chewing or swallowing.
- Weight loss that can’t be explained.
- Change in speech.
Mouth Cancer Diagnosis
The diagnosis of mouth cancer involves the following procedures:
- A Physical Exam
The dentist or medical practitioner physically examines your mouth, lips and surrounding areas to look for sores and white or red patches.
- Removal of Tissue for Biopsy
If the doctor finds anything abnormal in the suspicious areas, he/she may remove tissues from the area for laboratory examination called a biopsy. The cells are analysed for cancer, after which the doctors recommend treatment.
- Use of Camera
A camera is used to know the extent of cancer spread in the mouth. The procedure is called endoscopy, where the medical practitioner passes a tiny camera down to your throat.
- Image Testing
Image testing is also used to know the extent of cancer spread which may include X-Rays, MRI or CT scans, PET scans, etc.
Mouth Cancer Treatments
There are several treatment options for mouth cancer which depend on the cancer stage, type and symptoms. Once mouth cancer is diagnosed, you must talk to the doctor about available treatment options, their benefits, side effects and risks. The treatment methods for mouth cancer are as follows:
The first essential step in cancer treatment is the identification of the cancer stage so that doctors can suggest the best treatment. MRI and CT scans are used to know the extent of the cancer spread.
Surgery is usually used in the early stages of cancer. It is used to remove the tumour or surrounding lymph nodes or tissues. Surgery involves the risk of infection and bleeding and may affect the patient’s appearance, speaking and swallowing ability.
Chemotherapy involves the use of drugs to shrink or kill cancer cells or tumours. It can also be used in combination with radiation or before surgery. The side effects of this treatment depend on the type of drug used. However, the common side effects of chemotherapy include vomiting, nausea or hair loss.
- Radiation Therapy
Radiation therapy uses X-Rays or radioactive chemicals to kill or shrink cancer tumours. A doctor may recommend a combination of radiation and chemotherapy for advanced cancer. Radiation therapy helps relieve the signs of mouth cancer, such as pain. The side effects may include tooth decay, dry mouth or damaged jawbone.
- Targeted Drug Therapy
Targeted drug therapy aims to restrict the growth of cancer cells. The treatment can be used in isolation or with chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Side effects may include itching, skin rash, diarrhoea, infection, etc.
Immunotherapy refers to treating cancer by improving the patient’s immune system. Cancer cells often blind the body’s immune system cells. Thus, immunotherapy helps interfere in the process and improves the patient’s immune system. Usually, immunotherapy is used for people with advanced cancers who stop responding to the above-mentioned treatments.
Prevention of Mouth Cancer
You must have heard the saying, “Prevention is Better Than Cure”. Thus, you can prevent the deadly disease with some lifestyle changes that include:
- Tobacco use is the major culprit behind oral cancer. So, quit the consumption of tobacco if you smoke.
- Moderate your alcohol consumption.
- When the UV is above 3, protect yourself from sun exposure as cancer of lips is caused due to UV exposure.
- Avoid consumption of betel or areca nuts.
- Maintain oral hygiene and a healthy diet.
Why Use a Health Insurance Policy
Having adequate health insurance is necessary to get quality treatment for several diseases in times when medical costs are soaring high. Moreover, critical illnesses can be expensive to treat as they need long-term treatments that may take a big chunk out of your savings. Here are some more reasons to buy critical illness insurance:
- Quality Treatment
Healthcare costs are consistently rising in the country. Moreover, diseases like cancer can lead to large medical bills that might take a toll on your pockets. Many people are unable to get the right treatment due to financial constraints. However, having a health insurance policy in place helps get quality treatment without worrying about the bills.
- Cashless Hospitalisation
Tata AIG has partnered with several hospitals where you can avail of a cashless hospitalisation facility if you have a health insurance plan. Thus, one of the greatest benefits of having Tata AIG’s health insurance is that you do not need to worry about hospitalisation expenses at all. If you are admitted to a network hospital, the insurance company ensures your medical bills are taken care of without causing any stress to you.
- Pre and Post Hospitalisation Expenses
Several medical expenses go beyond hospitalisation. Other procedures like diagnosis, OPD costs, medical bills, etc., can also lead to increased costs of treatment. A good health insurance plan takes care of the pre and post-hospitalisation expenses also.
- Peace of Mind
Treating a disease like cancer requires frequent visits to the hospital. The several tests and treatment costs can drain your savings. However, with critical illness insurance, you can focus on treatment with peace of mind.
How to Buy Health Insurance Policy from Tata AIG
Buying health insurance from Tata AIG is a simple process. You can buy a suitable plan for yourself through both online and offline modes.
To buy health insurance online, you have to follow the simple steps:
- Visit Tata AIG’s website.
- Choose whether you want to buy the policy for yourself, your spouse, children, or parents.
- After choosing the relevant option, click “Get Plan”.
- Provide the required details, and you will be shown the suitable health insurance plans for you.
- Now choose the appropriate sum assured for the health insurance policy.
- The premium for your policy will now be shown.
- You can compare different plans and choose the best suitable plan for you.
- After making the best choice, click “Buy Now”.
- An official will contact you for further assistance.
- After due payments, you will receive a soft copy of your health plan via email.
For offline purchase of a health insurance plan, follow the steps below:
- Visit the nearest Tata AIG office.
- Ask for the procedure of buying health insurance at the counter.
- An official will help you out in finding the right plan for you.
- After deciding about the plan, you wish to buy, fill out the form provided.
- Fill out the form with correct details and attach relevant documents.
- Submit the form and pay the fee at the counter.
- After due payments, the company will send you a soft copy of your health plan via email.
Documents Required to Buy Health Insurance Policy from Tata AIG
To buy a health insurance policy from Tata AIG, you need to furnish the following documents:
- ID proof
- Age proof
- Address proof
- Income proof
- Recent photographs
- Documents about your health history
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Disclaimer / TnC
Your policy is subjected to terms and conditions & inclusions and exclusions mentioned in your policy wording. Please go through the documents carefully.
Frequently Asked Question
1. Does oral cancer spread quickly?
Usually, oral cancers are squamous cell carcinomas that spread quite fast. The spread becomes faster if you smoke or consume alcohol and are above 50 years of age. Typically, oral cancer reaches from stage one to four in five years. So, identifying the symptoms early can help get timely treatment.
2. Can doctors cure mouth cancer completely?
Mouth cancer can be treated or cured completely with surgery if it has not spread beyond your mouth or the back of the throat.
3. Is mouth cancer painful?
The mouth ulcers caused due to mouth cancer are painful.
4. What are the symptoms of early-stage mouth cancer?
Early-stage mouth cancer can represent symptoms like soreness in the mouth that doesn’t go away and red or white patches on the gums, tongue, cheeks or tonsils.