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Treatments for Oral Cancer
Treatments for Oral Cancer

Oral cancer is cancer that begins in the mouth or the throat. The American Cancer Society reports that more than 53,000 Americans are diagnosed with oral cavity cancer or oropharyngeal cancer every year, and almost 11,000 will die of the disease. 

However, there is a silver lining – oral cancer is one of the most preventable types of cancer. It is also among the most treatable of cancers, especially if found early. Your dentist is key in the prevention and early detection of mouth cancer. 

Your dentist checks for signs of oral cancer during every regular checkup, which is just one of the many important reasons why regular visits to your dentist are recommended. If you have a family history of oral cancer or if you smoke, you are considered a high-risk patient and will do well to see your dentist regularly. 

If you are diagnosed with mouth cancer, there are effective treatments for the disease. Let’s talk about some of the early signs and the treatments that are available for oral cancer.

What Are the Symptoms of Oral Cancer? 

Oral cancer symptoms include: 

  • Mouth sores
  • Lumps in or around the mouth
  • Red and white patches in the mouth and throat
  • Oral pain or bleeding
  • A feeling of something stuck in the throat
  • Persistent sore throat
  • Pain in your ear
  • Trouble chewing
  • Swelling of the jaw
  • Lump or swelling in your neck
  • Change in your voice
  • Unexplained weight loss

Any of these typical symptoms of oral cancer may actually be due to other health conditions, which is why having them examined by an experienced dentist is important for an accurate diagnosis. A diagnosis is the first step of treatment for oral cancer.

Oral Cancer Treatment Methods

Treating oral cancer requires a multidisciplinary approach. This involves the participation of your dentist along with other specialists, such as otolaryngologists (ear, nose, and throat doctors), dental surgeons, and oncologists (cancer doctors).

The treatment plan will depend on the type and stage of the cancer. It will likely either involve a combination of surgery and radiation, surgery and chemotherapy, or minimally invasive treatments.

If the cancer is localized in one spot (rather than systemic, which means it has spread to other parts of the body), the medical team will work to destroy the cancer cells and prevent the spread to other areas. If the cancer is advanced and has spread (metastasized) to other areas, surgery and chemotherapy is often the recommended treatment.

The goal of oral cancer treatment is to control the cancer and to relieve its symptoms. Discuss any concerns you may have, such as side effects associated with your cancer treatment, with your medical specialist. It’s important to understand how each treatment method works and how your body might respond.

Preventing Oral Cancer in Merced, CA 

Early detection of oral cancer can save your life, which is why the dental team here at El Portal Dental Group recommends regular dental visits and checkups to our patients. We care about your oral health and how it impacts your overall health.

If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, contact our staff today by calling us at (209) 385-1479 or fill out our appointment request form online now. We look forward to seeing you here!




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