Oral Cancer (Mouth Cancer) Treatment
Treatment recommended by your
oncologist depends on the type of cancer diagnosed, its stage, your age and health in general. However, whatever
decision taken, your doctor will have to choose surgery, radiotherapy, or chemotherapy. These therapeutic
methods can be used alone or in combination.
Surgery will be performed
depending on the location of the tumor and its size. Usually, surgery is performed to treat limited oral
cancers. The surgery may be partial or total removal of the tumor and some surrounding tissue.
Sometimes, removal of the
vocal cords, jaw bone, or parts of the face is inevitable. Although the operation may prolong your life or even
eliminate the cancer completely, it can affect your appearance, speech, and ability to swallow. In this case,
you may be recommended a reconstructive plastic surgery to repair your face.
In large oral cancers, a
tracheotomy may be necessary. If so, you'll be obligated to breathe through a tube implanted in the trachea and
not through your nose or mouth. A speech therapist will teach you how to talk.
Radiotherapy (radiation therapy)
Radiotherapy is the
destruction of cancer cells using high-energy beams. Unlike chemotherapy, which acts on cancer cells throughout
the body, radiation therapy acts locally; distant healthy tissue is not affected by the therapy. In some cases,
your doctor can associated external radiation therapy with internal radiotherapy (brachytherapy) ton increase
your survival chance. In the treatment of oral cancer, radiotherapy is often performed one month after
in addition to redness of the
skin, radiotherapy in the oral cavity always causes dry mouth. In case that the major salivary glands were
irradiated at high doses of radiation, the dry mouth can be definitive.
Chemotherapy involves using
powerful chemicals to kill cancer cells. Unlike surgery and radiation therapy, chemotherapy is a systemic
treatment that affects the entire organism. The chemotherapy drugs designed to destroy cancer cells or prevent
them from multiplying throughout the body. These drugs can be taken by infusion, injection or pill form.
However, chemotherapy drugs
affect both cancer cells and healthy cells that divide rapidly, which often causes side effects:
- loss of hair
- And more..