Oral Cancer Treatment
Cancer is a difficult disease to live with, but with the help of a great surgical team combined with patience and fortitude, it can be defeated. With Bellflower Oral Facial Surgery, you have the right team on your side. We are with you at every stage of the process, from diagnosis through treatment to your post-treatment care. You can count on us to keep you informed and optimistic while giving you excellent care.
Preparing for Treatment
Whatever your type and stage of oral cancer, proper preparation for treatment will greatly increase your odds of success and decrease post-treatment complications. Your mouth will undergo a thorough cleaning to remove harmful types of bacteria. Your teeth will be assessed and professionally cleaned. If some of your teeth are decayed or have poor prognoses, they may be extracted to prevent future problems.
You will be strongly encouraged to reduce or halt your consumption of alcohol, marijuana, cigarettes, and chewing tobacco. Heavy smokers and drinkers are six times more likely to contract oral cancer than those who abstain. By continuing these activities, you may exacerbate your symptoms and make healing more difficult.
Methods of Oral Cancer Treatment
Oral cancer is treated through three primary methods, depending on what stage the cancer is in:
- Most cancer patients will undergo surgery to remove the tumor or affected cells. This is the oldest, most time-tested method of fighting cancer. If the cancer has not metastasized, or spread to other parts of the body, surgery may be able to remove the cancer in its entirety.
- Radiation therapy subjects cancer cells to prolonged doses of ionizing radiation which damage their DNA, making them unable to regenerate. Radiation will damage both cancer cells and normal cells. However, normal cells will be able to regenerate themselves after the treatment. Radiation is applied daily in 10-15 minute doses with a treatment course of 2-8 weeks.
- Chemotherapy introduces a combination of chemicals into the body that destroy cancer cells. It has the advantage of fighting cancer that has metastasized, since chemotherapy drugs spread through the entire bloodstream.
All these techniques may be used individually or combined to reinforce each other. Your doctors will develop the most effective treatment plan for your situation.
If your oral cancer is treated at an early stage, you will likely have minimal post-treatment complications. Late-stage cancers may require more extensive surgeries that damage parts of the facial features or oral cavity that must be reconstructed. Therapy may be recommended to rebuild speech and chewing functions. In some cases, a dental or facial prosthetic may be called for.
The experienced team at Bellflower Oral Facial Surgery treats oral cancer with rigor and compassion. Call today if you may be experiencing cancer symptoms so we can schedule your consultation immediately. The earlier that oral cancer is identified, the easier it is to treat, so don’t hesitate to contact us right away.