• Oral Cancer Treatment: All You Need to Know
Authored by Dr Sandip Durah

Oral Cancer Treatment: All You Need to Know

Oral cancer, which affects the mouth, tongue, lips, gums, and throat, is a dangerous and perhaps fatal disorder brought on by several aspects, including drinking alcohol and using tobacco and viral infections like the human papillomavirus (HPV).

This article covers different oral cancer therapy options and how they might be applied to treat this difficult and complex condition. You will also get to know about any ways of mouth cancer treatment without surgery.

What Is The Most Common Mouth Cancer Treatment?

The First line oral cancer treatment, as recommended by medical professionals, is usually surgery.

Oral Cancer Surgery

Surgery is the most popular form of oral cancer treatment and involves removing malignant tissue from the affected area. Oral cancer surgery depends on the condition and stage of cancer and the patient.

Patients may have trouble speaking, swallowing, or eating after a glossectomy. Rehabilitation with a nutritionist and a speech therapist is frequently required to assist patients in restoring these abilities. There are some risks involved such as bleeding, infection, speech, swallowing, and taste problems which are associated with this procedure.

Primary Tumour Surgery

To ensure that all malignant cells are eliminated, primary tumour surgery, a frequent treatment option for oral cancer, involves the excision of the tumour plus a margin of healthy tissue surrounding the tumour.

Traditional open oral cancer surgery or less invasive procedures like robotic or laser surgery may be used to do mouth cancer surgery, depending on the location and size of the tumour.

In some circumstances, the procedure may also entail the removal of adjacent lymph nodes to stop cancer from spreading to other body parts. It's called a neck dissection.

The scope of the oral cancer surgery and the patient's general condition can impact how quickly a patient recovers following primary tumour surgery.


A glossectomy is a surgical mouth cancer surgery in which the tongue is entirely or partially removed, which is then reconstructed using tissues from other sides by the surgeon. This is mainly used to treat tongue cancer treatment. Under general anaesthesia, the procedure often entails the removal of the entire tongue (complete glossectomy) or just a small section of the tongue (partial glossectomy).


A mandibulectomy is a surgical mouth cancer treatment in which the mandible, the jawbone, is entirely or partially removed because of a malignant tumour. Some patients with oral cancer that have progressed to the jawbone may be able to receive it as a kind of treatment.

The procedure is typically performed under general anaesthesia and may involve either partial or whole removal of the jawbone (total mandibulectomy) (partial mandibulectomy). The healing procedure is the same as for a glossectomy.


A maxillectomy is a surgical mouth cancer surgery in which the top jaw (maxilla) is entirely or partially removed because of a malignant tumour. Some patients with oral cancer that have progressed to the upper jaw may benefit from it as a therapy option.

The procedure is usually carried out under general anaesthesia and may involve either a partial or total removal of the upper jaw (total maxillectomy) (partial maxillectomy).

Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy

When cancer spreads, the neighboring neck lymph nodes are frequently the first place it goes. Doctors can establish whether cancer has progressed beyond the initial tumour by locating and removing the sentinel lymph node. They may be able to do so without needlessly removing more lymph nodes.

A tiny amount of radioactive material or a blue dye is injected into the region surrounding the tumour during a sentinel lymph node biopsy for oral cancer.

After that, the substance moves through the lymphatic system to the sentinel lymph node, which can be found by looking at the blue dye or with a portable radiation detector. After that, the sentinel node is taken out and sent to a lab for evaluation.

Neck Dissection

During a neck dissection, tissue from the neck, including lymph nodes, is removed surgically. Patients with mouth cancer that has progressed to their neck lymph nodes frequently choose this course of mouth cancer treatment.

The lymph nodes are taken out during the treatment through a neck incision. The size and number of lymph nodes involved and the stage and location of the malignancy will all affect how much tissue will need to be dissected.


Reconstruction is an essential component of the healing process for many oral cancer patients. Patients may require reconstruction to return the damaged area's form and function following surgery to remove malignant tissue.

In addition to restoring the patient's look and quality of life, reconstruction of mouth cancer treatment can assist the patient in speaking, swallowing, and doing other crucial tasks better.

Among the most popular reconstruction methods are:

  • Removing a piece of skin from another place of the body and grafting it onto the injured area is known as skin grafting.
  • Using local tissue flaps or transferring a portion of tissue from a location close to the damaged area to the surgical site.
  • Using a microscope and tiny sutures, microvascular free tissue transfer involves removing tissue from another body location and transferring it to the injured area.
  • Taking a portion of bone from another place of the body and grafting it onto the injured area is known as bone grafting.

It's vital to consider the cancer's location and extent, the size of the defect, the patient's overall health and medical history, and preferences.

What is the Best Way for Oral Cancer Treatment?

Proton therapy is a type of radiation treatment that uses protons, rather than X-rays, to target cancer cells. In proton therapy, the protons are sent directly to the tumor site and can deliver a precise dose of radiation without harming surrounding healthy tissue or organs.

This type of treatment has become increasingly popular in recent years as it offers targeted radiation with fewer side effects compared to traditional radiation therapy. Apollo Hospital is one of the best hospitals for proton therapy in India. It has the most advanced technology and is renowned for its success rate when it comes to treating cancer.


In conclusion, a lot has changed in the treatment of oral cancer. The field of oral cancer treatment is quickly developing, providing patients with more individualised and efficient options.

In the end, early identification, prevention, and a multidisciplinary approach that brings together the skills of medical professionals from other disciplines and the support of patients, their families, and their communities are the keys to the successful treatment of oral cancer.