Indubitably, oral cancer is a lethal disease with a high mortality rate. But if you diagnose and treat the disease at an early stage, you can combat it easily. These days, various innovative and new treatments are introduced that are helping the patients to overcome this deadly disease. Though the prime objective of the treatment method is to cure cancer, still, doctors and experts are trying to preserve the function of the nearby nerves, organs, and tissues. When a doctor designs a treatment plan, he also considers how the treatment will affect the life of the patient.
The Best Treatment methods for Oral Cancer
Surgery is the most common and accepted treatment method for oral cavity cancers. Though there are some downsides of this treatment, still, when operable it’s the best chance for the patient. Surgery is usually done by someone deft and experienced oncologists who are specialized in head and neck cancer treatment. In surgery, the expert usually removes the tumour and some surrounding healthy tissue (also called margin). The prime goal of the surgery is to complete the removal of the tumour with negative margins. Negative margins mean that there will be no trace of cancer in the margin’s healthy tissue. Some common surgical procedures for oral cancer are,
- Primary tumour surgery: In this type of surgery, a tumour is removed from a margin of healthy tissue. The tumour is removed through the mouth or an incision in the neck.
- Glossectomy: This is the partial or total removal of the tumour from the tongue.
- Mandibulectomy: If your tumour has entered a jawbone, then a portion of the jawbone or the whole jawbone will be removed.
- Maxillectomy: In this type of surgery, the surgeon removes part or all of the hard palate that is the bony roof of the mouth.
- Neck dissection: If your oral cancer spreads to lymph nodes in the neck, then the surgeon removes some portion of the lymph nodes. This procedure is called a neck dissection.
Sometimes, along with surgery, radiotherapy is recommended to destroy cancerous cells. In radiotherapy, high-intensity x-rays and other particles are given to utterly remove cancerous cells.
- External-beam radiation therapy: This is the most common type of radiation treatment for oral and oropharyngeal cancer. In this type of therapy, a radiation beam that is produced by a machine outside the body is targeted at the tumour.
- Internal radiation therapy: If radiation treatment is given using implants, then it is called internal radiation therapy or brachytherapy.
Radiation therapy is the best treatment for oral cavity cancer. This therapy is often used along with surgery to destroy small areas of cancer that could not be removed.
In this therapy, drugs are used to destroy cancerous cells. Sometimes, chemotherapy is combined with radiotherapy and is known as chemoradiation therapy. Chemotherapy is used as the initial treatment before surgery or radiation therapy. This is called neoadjuvant chemotherapy. Sometimes, it can be given after surgery or radiation therapy. This is called adjuvant chemotherapy. As part of the clinical trial, chemotherapy is used for oral cavity cancer.
This type of treatment targets cancer’s specific genes, proteins, or the tissue environment that are responsible for uncontrolled growth. At present, antibodies directed against a cellular receptor called the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) are being used in combination with radiation therapy for treating head and neck cancers. Cetuximab (Erbitux) is the only targeted therapy that is approved in combination with radiation therapy.
These are some best treatment options for oral cancer in India.
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