Before starting treatment, your doctor will probably perform many tests. These tests will help your doctor understand your cancer.

  • Your doctor will perform a careful examination of your mouth, throat, and the surrounding areas
  • Small mirrors or flexible tubes with cameras may be used to get a closer look at the cancer
  • A small sample of the cancer (a biopsy) may be removed to look at it under the microscope and to perform other tests
  • X-rays or other imaging tests may be used to detect the presence of cancer elsewhere in the body

The results of these tests will help determine which treatments may be right for you.

Before you start treatment, you will probably have blood tests. Your doctor also will perform tests to check that your heart and lungs are working well, along with a dental exam. These tests will help your doctor check your overall health and assist in creating a treatment plan.

Many types of treatments can help control oral cancer. These include:

  • Surgery to remove the main areas of cancer
  • Radiation therapy, which can be directed to the region where the cancer is or was located
  • Chemotherapies, which are drugs that directly attack cancer cells
  • Immunotherapies, which are drugs or other treatments that stimulate the immune system to attack cancer cells

Over time, you may receive several of these treatments, either alone or together. Many people who have surgery for oral cancer have radiation, chemotherapy, and possibly other treatments after surgery.

Your doctor may also offer you an opportunity to take part in a clinical study, also known as a clinical trial. Clinical studies explore new medicines and ways to manage disease. See more information about clinical studies.

Doctors who treat cancer are known as oncologists. They are experts in helping you choose the treatments that are best for you.

Over time, you will probably receive treatment from several healthcare professionals who are experts in different types of cancer treatment.

© 2017 IRX Therapeutics