In the treatment of oral cancer, surgery has long played a crucial role. For many patients, surgical procedures offer the best treatment for many types of cancer, including oral cavity and oropharyngeal cancer — particularly when the disease is caught early on.
Advances in surgical techniques have enabled oral and maxillofacial surgeons to successfully employ procedures to help in the preventive, diagnostic, curative and reconstructive stages of treatment. Depending on the treatment plan, surgeons typically use one of four types of oral cancer surgery
Preventive surgery, or prophylactic surgery, is performed when oral cancer is likely to develop. When precancerous tissue is detected during a screening or routine health evaluation, the affected tissues are removed to prevent tumor growth.
Diagnostic surgery is completed in order to identify the specific type and extent of oral cavity or oropharyngeal cancer. Also called a surgical biopsy, this procedure involves taking a cell sample and having the tissues tested.
Curative surgery is indicated when the cancerous tissue appears to be confined to a specific area. With this procedure, an entire tumor is removed as a means of eliminating the oral cavity or oropharyngeal cancer. Often, curative surgeries are combined with chemotherapy or radiation as a primary treatment.
Reconstructive surgery is done when curative procedures create changes in facial appearance or mouth functionality. Oral and maxillofacial surgeons use a range of techniques, including bone grafting and prosthetics, to restore the function of the mouth and the look of the face, head and neck.
Schedule a Professional Oral Cancer Screening Today
Once each month, do a self-check, looking for warning signs like discolored patches, abnormal lumps and bleeding sores in the mouth. At the same time, take note of unusual symptoms such as chronic hoarseness, difficulty chewing, ear pain or a difference in tooth alignment.
If you spot any of these warning signs — or anything out of the ordinary at all — schedule a professional oral cancer screening right away. A careful examination of the head, neck and mouth, along with toluidine blue staining, exfoliative cytology and other diagnostic procedures, can confirm or rule out the presence of cancerous tissue.
For professional oral cancer screening in the greater Salt Lake City area, call on Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah.
Dr. Partridge and Dr. Maxfield, our board-certified oral surgeons, have the skill, training and expertise to diagnose and treat a vast range of oral health conditions. And with our 10-plus years of experience serving northern Utah, patients have come to rely on us for the highest standard of care, delivered in a warm, friendly environment.
To schedule a professional screening with the Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah team, or for more details on oral cancer surgery, contact our Cottonwood Heights, South Jordan or Tooele office and schedule a consultation today.