Chemotherapy, radiation therapy and surgery are methods used to treat oral cancer. Some patients just need one of this methods while others need a combination.At any stage of disease, people with oral cancer may have treatment to control pain and other symptoms, to relieve the side effects of therapy.This helps to ease emotional and practical problems.This kind of treatment is called supportive care, symptom management, or palliative care.
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Your general health, size of tumor, location of where the cancer began and if it has spread to other parts will determine the choice of treatment you will get.Your doctor can describe your treatment choices and the expected results. Make sure you consider the outcome of the treatment you choose in the way it is going to affect your normal activities like chewing, swallowing, appearance and also speech.
If a biopsy test shows that you have cancer, the extent of the disease should be known by your doctor and recommend the best treatment. The stage of the cancer is known by whether the cancer has spread and if so, to what other parts of the body, and also the size of the tumor. Lab test and endoscopy may needed at the staging level.The doctor uses a thin, lighted tube (endoscope) to check your throat, windpipe, and lungs.
Surgery to remove the tumor in the mouth or throat is a common treatment for oral cancer. In other cases the surgeon may remove lymph nodes from your neck.Other tissues in the mouth and neck may be removed as well.Patients may have surgery alone or in combination with radiation therapy.
Radiation therapy also called radiotherapy is a type of local therapy. Radiotherapy is a kind of local therapy. Only the affected area is affected by this therapy. For patients who cannot have surgery, radiotherapy alone can be done for small tumors. Radiotherapy is a good way to kill cancer cells and shrink the tumor before surgery. Should there be cells that remain after surgery, radiation therapy could be used to destroy the cells in that area. The use of high-energy rays to kill cancer is what radio therapy can be described as.
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Doctors can use two kinds of radio therapy for oral cancer treatment.
• External radiation: This type of radiation uses a machine. Once or twice a day for 5 days a week for several months is what a patient goes through.
• Internal radiation (implant radiation): Implant radiation refers to radioactive materials placed in needles, seed, or plastic tubes and put directly to the tissue. Treatment of this nature requires you to be admitted to the hospital as the implants remain in place for a couple of days and are removed when you are discharged to go home.
Some oral cancer patients may need both types of radiotherapy.
Chemotherapy uses anticancer drugs to kill cancer cells. Known also as systematic therapy for affecting cancer cells throughout the body as it enters the bloodstream. Injection is mainly used with chemotherapy which can be given at a doctor’s office or at an outpatient of a hospital.Rarely, a hospital stay may be needed.
It is in order to get involved in making decisions of your medical care about oral cancer. Learning about your disease and the treatment choices available is only natural. A plan to suit your needs and personal values should be discussed with your doctor to bring out the best results.