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Five Things to Know About Oral Cancer Treatment
As you prepare for oral cancer treatment, you’ll quickly find out there’s no such thing as a "one-size-fits-all" treatment plan. This can make it difficult to know what’s right for you – and it’s normal to have concerns. The most important thing you can do is find an oncologist who you trust. He or she can answer your questions and make recommendations that are tailored to your specific situation.
Another thing you can do is become educated about oral cancer treatment and how each option pertains to your specific situation. For instance, it may help you to know that:
- You’ll probably see quite a few different medical professionals, including a surgeon, medical oncologist, radiation oncologist, dental practitioner and one or more supportive care providers.
- You may have several types of treatment at the same time. For instance, it’s not uncommon to have radiation therapy during a course of chemotherapy.
- You may experience side effects, such as mouth sores and fatigue, which will be temporary. A supportive care provider can help you stay as comfortable as possible throughout your treatment and recovery.
- You may be able to enroll in a clinical trial, even if you haven’t tried all of your other options. These research studies are often viewed as a "last resort," but that’s not the case. A clinical trial can provide an ideal opportunity to access the latest therapies at any point in your treatment.
- You’ll likely have frequent follow-up visits to check for signs of cancer recurrence after the end of your treatment. These visits will become more infrequent over time.
Where to receive oral cancer treatment
To achieve the best possible outcome and quality of life, you’ll want to work with a treatment team that has extensive experience with oral cancer. At Moffitt Cancer Center, we have a specialized Head and Neck Oncology Program that welcomes patients with all types and stages of oral cancer, offering a comprehensive range of diagnostic tests, treatments and supportive care services in a single location.