Metastatic Oral Cancer Treatment

When a suspected sore found in the mouth, on or under the tongue, in the gum or lymph nodes as an early sign of oral cancer (or mouth cancer), a surgery will be recommended to clear the infections, with radiation treatment or chemo therapy followed.

Surgery for oral cancer may include:

  1. Surgery to cut the tumor: Your doctor or surgeon maysuggest to cut away the lesion and the surrounding area of healthy tissues to make sure that all of the infected cells I your mouth have been removed. Smaller cancer can be removed via micrographic surgery such as cancers on of the lips. Large tumors require an extensive surgical procedure. For example, to remove a large tumor may require the removal of a section of your tongue or a part of the bones of your jaw structures.
  1. Surgery to remove carcinoma cells that spread to the neck: When the oral cancer cells spreading to the lymphnodes in the neck and it depends on the size of the tumor if you are under a high risk, your surgeon may recommend an operation to cut the cancerous lymph nodes and the surrounded soft tissues in your neck or throat, called radical neck dissection that removes any carcinoma cells that might have spread to your lymph nodes. The surgery will leave a scar on the neck while it will leave you’re the body functions unimpaired to fight cancers in the future.
  1. Surgery to reconstruct the mouth: After the cancer cells have been removed, the surgeon may recommend that a reconstructive surgery can be done to rebuildthe appearance and function of the affected areas to help you regain the ability to talk and eat. For small tumors the affected tissues have been removed with the tumor for it’s small enough that the reconstructive surgery isn’t But the removal of large tumors may cause defects in the mouth or neck which requires rebuilding, which is called skin grafts.  Larger defects will need more tissues. A piece of skin or muscle will be transplanted from other parts of the body to rebuild your mouth. Extracted teeth in the surgery will be replaced by dental implants after the cancer treatments. You may also need a tube to help you breathe, eat and drink before you’ve healed. Before you have extensive head and neck surgery, talk to the surgeon about your options for reconstructive surgery.

Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy clear cancer cells via high energy beams such as X-rays and protons which is often delivered from a medical machine outside of our body. When radiation treatment is planned in the early stage of the cancer, a dental evaluation must be done to ensure the condition of your teeth, some teeth may need extraction before it can start. If left in and exposed to X-rays or protons, teeth that are broken or abscessed are likely to cause severe problem such as necrosis or infections in the jaw area. Other side effects of radiation therapy may include dry mouth, tooth decay, mouth sores, gum disease, etc.


Chemotherapy uses chemicals to kill cancer cells. Drugs can be given alone or combined with other chemotherapy drugs or with other cancer treatments such as radiation treatment for the combination will strongly increase the effectiveness. Chemo drugs include nausea, vomiting and hair loss and it also depends on which medicine you receive.

Posted on May 5, 2023