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  Oral Cancer: Newly Diagnosed

Being told you have oral cancer can be scary. You may have many questions. There are people on your healthcare team who can help.

Coping with fear

It’s normal to feel afraid. Learning about the type of cancer you have and your treatment options can make you feel less afraid. This also helps you work with your healthcare team and make the best choices for your treatment. You can also ask to speak with a counselor.

Working with your healthcare team

Your healthcare team may include any or all of these providers:

  • Otolaryngologist. This healthcare provider treats problems in the head and neck. This provider is also called an ENT (ear, nose, and throat) surgeon. 

  • Head and neck surgical oncologist. This healthcare provider has special training to do surgery in the head and neck areas.  

  • Medical oncologist. This healthcare provider treats cancer with medicines, like chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and targeted therapy.

  • Radiation oncologist. This healthcare provider treats cancer with radiation.

  • Oral and maxillofacial surgeon. This dentist specializes in surgery of the mouth, face, teeth, and jaw.

  • Plastic surgeon. This healthcare provider specializes in reconstructing or repairing body parts.

Other healthcare professionals, such as nurses, social workers, speech therapists, and dietitians, will be part of your treatment team. Your team will answer all your questions and guide you through each of the steps that you'll take before, during, and after treatment. Your team will let you know what tests are being done and what the results mean. They'll help you in making treatment decisions. And they will help prepare you and your loved ones for what's ahead. 

Learning about treatment options

To decide the best course of treatment for you, your healthcare team needs to know as much as they can about the cancer. This may mean getting tests and working with more than 1 healthcare provider. And you may decide that you want to get a second opinion to help you choose a treatment. Your team can help you with this. You might also want to ask about websites or other good sources of information you can use to make your decision.

Getting support

Coping with cancer can be very stressful. Talk with your healthcare team about seeing a counselor. They can refer you to someone who can help. You can also visit support groups to talk with other people with cancer. Ask your healthcare team about local and online support groups.

Online Medical Reviewer: Jessica Gotwals RN BSN MPH
Online Medical Reviewer: Susan K. Dempsey-Walls APRN
Online Medical Reviewer: Todd Gersten MD
Date Last Reviewed: 8/1/2023
© 2024 The StayWell Company, LLC. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare provider's instructions.