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Mouth Cancer Treatment

treatment

Most mouth cancer treatment begins with surgery whenever possible. Treatment options available at Markey include:

Surgery

We use many highly sophisticated tools for surgery, including lasers and robotic surgery for patients with mouth cancer, or oral cancer. Our specialized robotic surgery stations and microsurgery laser equipment allow us to operate with greater precision and fewer incisions than traditional surgery. Surgeons use 3D imaging to see inside the mouth with greater detail as they operate. 

Radiation Therapy

Radiation uses high-energy rays to stop the growth of cancer cells. We use radiation combined with chemotherapy in place of surgery to preserve tissue and parts of the lips or mouth. The two therapies can be more effective when combined.

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill cancer cells. We use it along with radiation therapy to increase the effectiveness of both treatments and avoid surgery in some cases.

Reconstructive Surgery

After cancer surgery, some patients may need reconstructive surgery or dental implants to repair parts of their mouth or lips and make it easier to talk, eat and swallow. Reconstruction uses tissue and blood vessels from other parts of a patient’s body. We’ll work with your dentist or refer you to one if you need dental implants or other dental work.

Metastatic Mouth Cancer

For mouth cancer that has spread to other areas of the body, we can use chemotherapy and immunotherapy. Drugs used during immunotherapy strengthen a patient’s immune system so it’s better able to fight cancer.

  • Questions to ask your doctor

    Your healthcare team will discuss the treatment options that are best for you. You may want to bring a family member or close friend with you to your appointments. Consider asking the following questions:

    • Where is my cancer located?
    • Has the cancer spread beyond where it started?
    • What’s the cancer’s stage, and what does that mean?
    • What type of treatment do you recommend and why?
    • How will my treatment affect my ability to eat, swallow and talk?
    • Should I see a speech-language pathologist?
    • What are the possible side effects of my treatment?
    • If I need surgery, where will the incision be located and how much tissue will be removed?
    • Will I need radiation or chemotherapy?
    • What type of follow-up care will I need?
    • Will I need specialized dental care?
    • When can I go back to my normal activities?
    • Should I consider taking part in a clinical trial?