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Lip and Oral Cavity Cancer Treatment (Patient) (cont.)

Treatment Options by Stage

A link to a list of current clinical trials is included for each treatment section. For some types or stages of cancer, there may not be any trials listed. Check with your doctor for clinical trials that are not listed here but may be right for you.

Stage I Lip and Oral Cavity Cancer

Treatment of stage I lip and oral cavity cancer depends on where cancer is found in the lip and oral cavity.

Lip

If cancer is in the lip, treatment may include the following:

  • Surgery (wide local excision).
  • Internal radiation therapy with or without external radiation therapy.

Front of the tongue

If cancer is in the front of the tongue, treatment may include the following:

  • Surgery (wide local excision).
  • Internal radiation therapy with or without external radiation therapy.
  • Radiation therapy to lymph nodes in the neck.

Buccal mucosa

If cancer is in the buccal mucosa (the lining of the inside of the cheeks), treatment may include the following:

  • Surgery (wide local excision) for tumors smaller than 1 centimeter, with or without internal and/or external radiation therapy.
  • Surgery (wide local excision with skin graft) or radiation therapy for larger tumors.

Floor of the mouth

If cancer is in the floor (bottom) of the mouth, treatment may include the following:

  • Surgery (wide local excision) for tumors smaller than ½ centimeter.
  • Surgery (wide local excision) or radiation therapy for larger tumors.

Lower gingiva

If cancer is in the lower gingiva (gums), treatment may include the following:

  • Surgery (wide local excision, which may include removing part of the jawbone, and skin graft).
  • Radiation therapy with or without surgery.

Retromolar trigone

If cancer is in the retromolar trigone (the small area behind the wisdom teeth), treatment may include the following:

  • Surgery (wide local excision, which may include removing part of the jawbone.)
  • Radiation therapy with or without surgery.

Upper gingiva or hard palate

If cancer is in the upper gingiva (gums) or the hard palate (the roof of the mouth), treatment is usually surgery (wide local excision) with or without radiation therapy.

Check for U.S. clinical trials from NCI's list of cancer clinical trials that are now accepting patients with stage I lip and oral cavity cancer. For more specific results, refine the search by using other search features, such as the location of the trial, the type of treatment, or the name of the drug. General information about clinical trials is available from the NCI Web site.

Stage II Lip and Oral Cavity Cancer

Treatment of stage II lip and oral cavity cancer depends on where cancer is found in the lip and oral cavity.

Lip

If cancer is in the lip, treatment may include the following:

  • Surgery (wide local excision).
  • External radiation therapy and/or internal radiation therapy.

Front of the tongue

If cancer is in the front of the tongue, treatment may include the following:

  • Radiation therapy and/or surgery (wide local excision).
  • Internal radiation therapy with surgery (neck dissection).

Buccal mucosa

If cancer is in the buccal mucosa (the lining of the inside of the cheeks), treatment may include the following:

  • Radiation therapy for tumors that are 3 centimeters or smaller.
  • Surgery (wide local excision) and/or radiation therapy for larger tumors.

Floor of the mouth

If cancer is in the floor (bottom) of the mouth, treatment may include the following:

  • Surgery (wide local excision).
  • Radiation therapy.
  • Surgery (wide local excision) followed by external radiation therapy, with or without internal radiation therapy, for large tumors.

Lower gingiva

If cancer is in the lower gingiva (gums), treatment may include the following:

  • Surgery (wide local excision, which may include removing part of the jawbone, and a skin graft).
  • Radiation therapy alone or after surgery.

Retromolar trigone

If cancer is in the retromolar trigone (the small area behind the wisdom teeth), treatment may include the following:

  • Surgery (wide local excision, which includes removing part of the jawbone).
  • Radiation therapy with or without surgery.

Upper gingiva or hard palate

If cancer is in the upper gingiva (gums) or the hard palate (the roof of the mouth), treatment may include the following:

  • Surgery (wide local excision) with or without radiation therapy.
  • Radiation therapy alone.

Check for U.S. clinical trials from NCI's list of cancer clinical trials that are now accepting patients with stage II lip and oral cavity cancer. For more specific results, refine the search by using other search features, such as the location of the trial, the type of treatment, or the name of the drug. General information about clinical trials is available from the NCI Web site.

Stage III Lip and Oral Cavity Cancer

Treatment of stage III lip and oral cavity cancer depends on where cancer is found in the lip and oral cavity.

Lip

If cancer is in the lip, treatment may include the following:

  • Surgery and external radiation therapy with or without internal radiation therapy.
  • A clinical trial of chemotherapy before or after surgery.
  • A clinical trial of chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
  • A clinical trial of hyperfractionated radiation therapy.

Front of the tongue

If cancer is in the front of the tongue, treatment may include the following:

  • External radiation therapy with or without internal radiation therapy.
  • Surgery (wide local excision) followed by radiation therapy.
  • A clinical trial of chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
  • A clinical trial of hyperfractionated radiation therapy.

Buccal mucosa

If cancer is in the buccal mucosa (the lining of the inside of the cheeks), treatment may include the following:

  • Surgery (wide local excision) with or without radiation therapy.
  • Radiation therapy.
  • A clinical trial of chemotherapy before or after surgery.
  • A clinical trial of chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
  • A clinical trial of hyperfractionated radiation therapy.

Floor of the mouth

If cancer is in the floor (bottom) of the mouth, treatment may include the following:

  • Surgery (wide local excision, which may include removing part of the jawbone, with or without neck dissection).
  • External radiation therapy with or without internal radiation therapy.
  • A clinical trial of chemotherapy before or after surgery.
  • A clinical trial of chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
  • A clinical trial of hyperfractionated radiation therapy.

Lower gingiva

If cancer is in the lower gingiva (gums), treatment may include the following:

  • Surgery (wide local excision) with or without radiation therapy. Radiation may be given before or after surgery.
  • A clinical trial of chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
  • A clinical trial of hyperfractionated radiation therapy.

Retromolar trigone

If cancer is in the retromolar trigone (the small area behind the wisdom teeth), treatment may include the following:

  • Surgery to remove the tumor, lymph nodes, and part of the jawbone, with or without radiation therapy.
  • A clinical trial of chemotherapy before or after surgery.
  • A clinical trial of chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
  • A clinical trial of hyperfractionated radiation therapy.

Upper gingiva

If cancer is in the upper gingiva (gums), treatment may include the following:

  • Radiation therapy.
  • Surgery (wide local excision) and radiation therapy.
  • A clinical trial of chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
  • A clinical trial of hyperfractionated radiation therapy.

Hard palate

If cancer is in the hard palate (the roof of the mouth), treatment may include the following:

  • Radiation therapy.
  • Surgery (wide local excision) with or without radiation therapy.
  • A clinical trial of chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
  • A clinical trial of hyperfractionated radiation therapy.

Lymph nodes

For cancer that may have spread to lymph nodes, treatment may include the following:

  • Radiation therapy and/or surgery (neck dissection).
  • A clinical trial of chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
  • A clinical trial of hyperfractionated radiation therapy.

Check for U.S. clinical trials from NCI's list of cancer clinical trials that are now accepting patients with stage III lip and oral cavity cancer. For more specific results, refine the search by using other search features, such as the location of the trial, the type of treatment, or the name of the drug. General information about clinical trials is available from the NCI Web site.

Stage IV Lip and Oral Cavity Cancer

Treatment of stage IV lip and oral cavity cancer depends on where cancer is found in the lip and oral cavity.

Lip

If cancer is in the lip, treatment may include the following:

  • Surgery and external radiation therapy with or without internal radiation therapy.
  • A clinical trial of chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
  • A clinical trial of chemotherapy before or after surgery.
  • A clinical trial of hyperfractionated radiation therapy.

Front of the tongue

If cancer is in the front of the tongue, treatment may include the following:

  • Surgery to remove the tongue and sometimes the larynx (voice box) with or without radiation therapy.
  • Radiation therapy as palliative therapy to relieve symptoms and improve quality of life.
  • A clinical trial of chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
  • A clinical trial of chemotherapy before or after surgery.
  • A clinical trial of hyperfractionated radiation therapy.

Buccal mucosa

If cancer is in the buccal mucosa (the lining of the inside of the cheeks), treatment may include the following:

  • Surgery (wide local excision) and/or radiation therapy.
  • A clinical trial of chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
  • A clinical trial of chemotherapy before or after surgery.
  • A clinical trial of hyperfractionated radiation therapy.

Floor of the mouth

If cancer is in the floor (bottom) of the mouth, treatment may include the following:

  • Surgery before or after radiation therapy.
  • A clinical trial of chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
  • A clinical trial of chemotherapy before or after surgery.
  • A clinical trial of hyperfractionated radiation therapy.

Lower gingiva

If cancer is in the lower gingiva (gums), treatment may include the following:

  • Surgery and/or radiation therapy.
  • A clinical trial of chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
  • A clinical trial of chemotherapy before or after surgery.
  • A clinical trial of hyperfractionated radiation therapy.

Retromolar trigone

If cancer is in the retromolar trigone (the small area behind the wisdom teeth), treatment may include the following:

  • Surgery to remove the tumor, lymph nodes, and part of the jawbone, followed by radiation therapy.
  • A clinical trial of chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
  • A clinical trial of chemotherapy before or after surgery.
  • A clinical trial of hyperfractionated radiation therapy.

Upper gingiva or hard palate

If cancer is in the upper gingiva (gums) or hard palate (the roof of the mouth), treatment may include the following:

  • Surgery with radiation therapy.
  • A clinical trial of chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
  • A clinical trial of chemotherapy before or after surgery.
  • A clinical trial of hyperfractionated radiation therapy.

Lymph nodes

For cancer that may have spread to lymph nodes, treatment may include the following:

  • Radiation therapy and/or surgery (neck dissection).
  • A clinical trial of chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
  • A clinical trial of chemotherapy before or after surgery.
  • A clinical trial of hyperfractionated radiation therapy.

Check for U.S. clinical trials from NCI's list of cancer clinical trials that are now accepting patients with stage IV lip and oral cavity cancer. For more specific results, refine the search by using other search features, such as the location of the trial, the type of treatment, or the name of the drug. General information about clinical trials is available from the NCI Web site.

eMedicineHealth Public Information from the National Cancer Institute

This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http://cancer.gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER

This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

Some material in CancerNet™ is from copyrighted publications of the respective copyright claimants. Users of CancerNet™ are referred to the publication data appearing in the bibliographic citations, as well as to the copyright notices appearing in the original publication, all of which are hereby incorporated by reference.



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