Why choose us for oral cancer care?
Oral cancer is a group of cancer that form on surfaces inside your mouth. These cancers can affect important ways that you interact with your world, including how you eat, swallow, speak and breathe. Head and neck cancer experts at Mays Cancer Center, home to UT Health San Antonio MD Anderson Cancer Center, are here for you.
We are one of the few centers in South Texas with a highly skilled team of oral cancer specialists. Our team of head and neck cancer experts includes head and neck surgeons, dentists, speech therapists and reconstructive surgeons. We use a whole-person approach, so you receive appropriate therapies during each phase of treatment.
Oral cancer is one of many complex forms of head and neck cancer we treat. Read more about our head and neck cancer program.
What you need to know about oral cancer?
- Your dentist or primary care provider may detect the early signs of oral cancer. Dentists frequently perform oral cancer screenings, examining surfaces inside your mouth for abnormal growths, as part of a regular checkup.
- You face a higher risk of oral cancer if you use tobacco and drink alcohol regularly. Avoiding these substances may help you avoid a cancer diagnosis or allow treatments to work better. Read more about tobacco use and cancer.
- Oral cancer requires multiple tests, appointments and treatments. Our dedicated head and neck cancer nurse navigator helps coordinate appointments so that you can focus on your health
How to talk to your doctor about oral cancer
Finding out you have oral cancer may come as a surprise. You may have been living with symptoms like mouth sores for a long time. We help you plan for treatment and recovery by explaining your options and how they work.
You might want to ask your doctor about:
- Additional testing you may need, including high-resolution imaging studies, to help plan treatments
- Diagnosis, including the precise location of the cancer and how advanced it is
- Treatments, which typically include surgery, and perhaps chemotherapy or radiation therapy
- Supportive therapies, including specialized dental care to keep you comfortable
Tailoring therapies to your needs means we include your input in care decisions. You are welcome to bring loved ones with you to appointments to help you communicate your preferences.