After an Oral Cancer Diagnosis

doctor holding a red and white ribbon

Oral cancer is a broad category that includes all cancers of the lips, tongue, gums, and other parts of your mouth. While some individuals have an elevated risk for oral cancer, seeing a dentist regularly for screenings is the best way to protect yourself and ensure appropriate treatment. If you’ve been diagnosed with oral cancer, Rutgers Health University Dental Associates can help provide you with information and treatment options.

Types of Treatments

There are several treatment methods available to address your oral cancer. The location and aggressiveness of your condition will impact what type of treatment you receive, so make sure to discuss your options with your dentist. Common treatment options include:

  • Surgery: Surgical removal is among the most common oral cancer treatments. The size of your tumor will determine how invasive this surgery will be, and the surrounding tissue may be removed in order to completely eliminate cancer cells.
  • Radiation therapy: This procedure involves using X-rays to target cancer cells in your body and eradicate them. It is often used in conjunction with surgery to eliminate any remaining cancer cells that were not removed along with the tumor.
  • Chemotherapy: This treatment uses medications administered orally or intravenously to attack cancer cells. It is often combined with radiation for maximum efficacy.

Lifestyle Changes

In addition to these oral cancer treatments, your doctor may suggest lifestyle changes to support healing and better overall wellness during the process. These include:

  • Exercise: If you are strong enough to participate in moderate exercise for about half an hour each day, it can help reduce the fatigue you feel from cancer treatment.
  • Massage therapy: Receiving a massage can relieve the stress you are likely feeling during this difficult time. Some massage therapists are even specially trained to work with patients with cancer.
  • Relaxation: Finding something that clears your mind and releases tension will help you maintain a positive outlook. Hobbies like journaling or listening to music are effective strategies.

Building a Support Network

It’s important to remember during this time that you do not have to face oral cancer alone. Developing a strong foundation of support from family and friends will help you keep pushing through treatment and stay upbeat. Cancer survivor groups are also a great way to meet people going through the same experiences you are. Making sure to take care of your mind as well as your body during this time is essential to beating cancer.

Options are Available

Receiving an oral cancer diagnosis is just the beginning of your health journey, not the end. There are plenty of avenues open to you that will help in your fight against cancer. Rutgers Health University Dental Associates can catch this condition before it progresses. To schedule an appointment, contact our New Brunswick or Newark locations today.