Treatment for oral cancer can vary depending on many factors, including the type, location and extent of the cancer, as well as a patient’s unique anatomy and preferences. For instance, some patients who are diagnosed with early-stage oral cancer may be treated with surgery or radiation therapy alone, while more advanced cases may require a combination of several therapies.
A comprehensive range of advanced treatment options for oral cancer is available in the Head and Neck Oncology Program at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida. Because oral cancer treatment can affect a patient’s ability to eat, breathe and speak, as well as his or her appearance, we believe that our patients can benefit the most from a team approach to treatment. To help ensure that we fully meet our patients’ needs, our multispecialty team of cancer experts includes diverse specialists such as board-certified head and neck surgeons, reconstructive surgeons, radiation oncologists, medical oncologists, speech pathologists, dietitians, physical therapists and other medical professionals.
Some oral cancer treatment options that are frequently recommended by the head and neck cancer specialists at Moffitt in Tampa, FL, include:
- Surgery – In addition to removing a tumor, a head and neck surgeon may remove several lymph nodes from the neck, where oral cancer sometimes spreads. If necessary, a reconstructive surgeon may rebuild areas of the head and neck that were affected by surgery, such as the skin, bones, muscles, nerves or blood vessels, in order to enhance the patient’s appearance and quality of life following oral cancer treatment.
- Radiation therapy – There are several advanced radiation delivery techniques available at Moffitt, including intensity-modulated radiation therapy, which uses multiple, high-energy beams of differing intensities to precisely target tumors while minimizing exposure to surrounding healthy tissue. To further enhance the effectiveness of radiation treatment, radiosensitizer drugs may be administered by vein or mouth to make cancerous cells more receptive to radiation.
- Chemotherapy – Powerful chemotherapy medications administered by vein or mouth can shrink tumors and help prevent head and neck cancers from recurring after surgery or radiation therapy. Chemo can also help alleviate symptoms and enhance quality of life for a patient who has a tumor that cannot be safely removed.
As a world-renowned leader in cancer research, Moffitt continues to pave the way for improving oral cancer treatment for both current and future patients. Through our ongoing clinical trials, we are evaluating promising new therapies and providing our patients with opportunities to be among the first to benefit from them. Some examples include targeted treatments that destroy cancerous cells with minimal effect on healthy tissue, and blocking agents, which help prevent cancerous cells from growing, dividing and spreading.
If you’d like to learn more about the latest options in oral cancer treatment, the experts in the Head and Neck Oncology Program at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, FL, can help. Call 1-888-663-3488 or complete a new patient registration form online. No referrals are required.