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Blog 9 ~ How is oral cancer treated?
After a definitive diagnosis has been made and the doctor has determined the stage of the cancer, treatment may begin. Treatment of oral cancers is ideally a multidisciplinary approach involving the efforts of surgeons, radiation oncologists, chemotherapy oncologists, dental practitioners, nutritionists, and rehabilitation and restorative specialists. The actual curative treatment modalities are usually surgery and radiation, with chemotherapy added to decrease the possibility of metastasis. Whether a patient has surgery, radiation and surgery, or radiation, surgery, and chemotherapy, is dependent on the stage of development of the cancer; each case is individual. Patients with cancers treated in their early stages, may have little in the way of post treatment disfigurement. For those whose cancer is caught at a later stage, the results of surgical removal of the disease may require reconstruction of portions of their oral cavity or facial features. There may be adjunctive therapy required to assist in speech, chewing of foods, the problems associated with the lack of salivary function, as well as the fabrication of dental or facial prostheses.