Posted on December 23, 2020 by Chris Bibbs
Mouth cancer is one of the most predominant cancer types in America. It affects more men than women, but both of them equally as brutal. Mouth cancer can be scary and can often be confused as general mouth sores, but if you check in regularly with your dentist, problems like these can be avoided. Most often, mouth cancer is diagnosed during a regular physical exam by your doctor. Mouth sores are the most common abnormality your doctor or dentist will look for when screening you at the office.
Once we diagnose your mouth cancer, there will be a series of steps to take afterward. These steps are essential in determining the extent of your cancer.
Steps after diagnosis:
As stated above, after determining that you do have mouth cancer, there are important steps that we take soon after to determine the extent and recommend and begin a treatment plan.
- Conduct an endoscopy: This endoscopy, which entails inserting a small camera down your throat, will aid doctors in determining if cancer has spread beyond your mouth and into other areas of the body.
- Imaging Tests: Imaging tests will also be conducted to aid us in determining if cancer has spread beyond your mouth. You might not need this test, but your doctor will recommend it if need be. These tests include a PET scan, CT, and MRI scans.
- Determine the stage: Stages determine mouth cancer with roman numerals I-IV. A lower stage like stage I means that your cancer is confined to a smaller area. Like stage IV, a higher stage indicates a larger cancer that has spread to other areas of the body like the neck or head.
Treatment of mouth cancer:
Treatment options for mouth cancer depend on the location of cancer and the stage at which it developed. You may undergo one specific treatment option, or you may have various other treatment options to undergo as well.
- Surgery: This is one of the main options for the treatment of cancer. This includes surgical removal of the tumor to make sure that all of the cancer cells have been removed. Larger tumors often require extensive procedures, sometimes like the removal of parts of organs.
- Radiation/Chemotherapy: Radiation and chemotherapy use chemicals and high-energy beams to possibly kill cancer cells. This treatment option is the most invasive and can do a lot of destruction to your body. Most of the time, the two are combined in order to maximize the benefits.
No matter what happens, know that we are always here for you every step of the way. Cancer is a scary thing, and we treat our patients with the utmost care. If you have questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to call our office at Treatment options at (281) 855-1100.