Mouth Cancer Diagnosis
The New York Otolaryngology Group recommends regular self-examinations of the mouth for red or white patches, lumps, thickening of the skin or gums, and sores that do not readily heal. Regular dental check-ups are a critical part of overall oral hygiene and can help detect warning signs of mouth and throat cancers. Once there is a mouth cancer diagnosis, determing the stage of a tumor is the next critical step towards developing an appropriate and individualized treatment plan. Individual circumstances will dictate the most appropriate course of action.
If the tumor is easily accessible, an in-office procedure called “fine needle aspiration” may be performed. It is a simple and straightforward approach that feels similar to having blood drawn. CT scans, MRI, PET scans, PET/CT scans or other techniques may also be used, depending on the location and nature of the tumor. An examination of the larynx, for instance, may require a long, slender camera called a laryngoscope, used to observe the larynx through the nose. This is a simple procedure done in the office with a topical anesthesia; it typically takes no longer than one minute. Occasionally, outpatient surgical procedures for endoscopy or tissue biopsy are required to further diagnose a less accessible tumor.
Mouth Cancer Treatment
Cancers of the head and neck are traditionally treated with surgery and radiation therapy, though chemotherapy has become more common, usually as adjuvant therapy in conjunction with surgery and radiation. The most appropriate course of treatment depends upon many factors, including the patient’s age, overall health, medical history, expectations, the extent of the disease, and tolerance for certain treatments. Dr. Krevitt and his staff work closely with leading radiation oncologists and medical oncologists to deliver the most appropriate treatment for each patient.
Throughout your cancer care, The New York Otolaryngology Group puts your treatment preferences and comfort above all else. Once a treatment plan is developed, our patients are encouraged to seek out alternative opinions. Many of our treated patients volunteer to speak to other patients just beginning the same or similar treatment courses to give a first-hand account of what to expect from the patient’s perspective.