Surgery: Surgery is the primary treatment for oral cancer. Oncosurgeons may perform various types of surgeries, depending on the stage and location of the oral tumor. Surgery is enough to manage small oral cancers limited to the oral cavity. Some of the surgical interventions for oral cancer include:
Tumor resection: In this procedure, the oncosurgeons remove the tumor along with the healthy tissue margin. The healthy tissue margin is removed to lower the risk of cancer recurrence. Mohs micrographic surgery: The technique is used to remove certain lip cancers. In this procedure, the upper layer of the tumor is removed and checked under the microscope for abnormal cells. If abnormal cells are present, another layer is removed and checked. The process continues until the layer with no cancer cells is removed.Glossectomy: This procedure involves removing a part or entire tongue. It is used to treat tongue cancers.Mandibulectomy: The procedure removes a part or complete jaw bone. The procedure is conducted if oral cancer has spread to the jaw bone. Maxillectomy: During maxillectomy, the oncosurgeons remove either a part or complete soft palate (roof of the mouth) if cancer has spread to the palate. This procedure leaves a hole, which is filled by the prosthesis.Robotic surgery: It is an advanced minimally invasive surgery that uses robotic arms, console, and monitor to perform complex surgeries with high accuracy and precision.Oral reconstruction surgery: Surgical intervention, especially for treating large tumors, results in severe defects in the oral anatomical structures. Patients are recommended to undergo oral reconstruction surgery to improve function and appearance.
Radiation therapy: It may be used alone or in combination with other treatment options, such as chemotherapy and surgery, to treat oral cancer. It is also delivered in patients with advanced cancer as a part of the palliative care strategy. The side effects of radiation therapy include tooth decay, dry mouth, and jawbone damage.
Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy for oral cancer is used as an adjuvant and neoadjuvant therapy. It is usually combined with surgery or radiation therapy if cancer progresses to an advanced stage and spreads to other body parts. Chemotherapy is delivered to the patients through intravenous or oral route.
Targeted therapy: Targeted therapy interferes with the functioning of certain proteins in the cancer cells that help them to divide, grow, and spread. Certain targeted therapies also boost the immune system. The targeted therapy drugs for oral cancer inhibit the epidermal growth factor receptor inhibitors.
Immunotherapy: Immunotherapy drugs interfere with those processes in the cancer cells that help evade the immune system. This interference makes the cancer cells more vulnerable to getting destroyed by immune cells.
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