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Vietnamese man suffers facial disfigurement from oral cancer as pandemic delays hospital visit

Vietnamese man suffers facial disfigurement from oral cancer as pandemic delays hospital visit

Saturday, July 10, 2021, 09:10 GMT+7
Vietnamese man suffers facial disfigurement from oral cancer as pandemic delays hospital visit
This photo supplied by the Hanoi Oncology Hospital shows D.V.T. after ten sessions of radiation therapy.

The Hanoi Oncology Hospital on Thursday evening said that its doctors are still treating a patient with oral cancer that caused his face to disfigure after the latest COVID-19 outbreak in the capital delayed his visit to hospital.

D.V.T., 62, from Dong Anh District in Hanoi, found out he had a tumor at a time when a new COVID-19 outbreak erupted in the city at the beginning of May.

He had smoked and drank alcohol for several years and had a previous medical history of another tumor in the oral cavity, which he had undergone a surgery to remove in 2020.

After that, the patient never had a follow-up visit with his doctor. 

Too afraid of contracting the coronavirus, T. chose not to seek hospital treatment until the new oral tumor grew considerably, causing ulcers, necrotic tissues, and a facial deformity.

He was admitted to the Hanoi Oncology Hospital when the tumor had already spread to his nose, making it difficult for him to breathe and impeding his ability to speak.

His test results showed that the tumor was 8x10cm, invading the nasal cavity, the lower and upper jawbones, developing pressure on the oral cavity, and creating cervical lymph nodes of about two centimeters on the sides of his neck.

The pathology of the patient was determined to be squamous cell carcinoma, which comprises a number of different types of cancer on different body sites.

In T.’s case, the cancer can be classified as hard palate cancer.

The patient was then given radiation therapy for his symptoms, pain relief, and anti-bleeding drugs.

He responded well after ten sessions of radiation therapy, with the tumor size decreasing by 70 percent.

The patient has been able to communicate, eat and drink easier, and is breathing without difficulty.  

According to doctors at the Hanoi Oncology Hospital, hard palate cancer is an uncommon cancer, accounting for 1.3 percent of oral cancers, mainly in men over 60 years old.

Unlike other head and neck cancers, patients can notice abnormalities on their own, with the most common symptom being sores on the palate. 

As the tumor grows, the ulcer may bleed.

Doctors recommend that, when there is any doubt about problems in the oral cavity, patients should see a doctor for timely diagnosis and treatment. 

The earlier the cancer is diagnosed, the higher chance of success the treatment has.

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