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Oral Cancer: Newly Diagnosed

Being told you have oral cancer can be scary, and you may have many questions. But you have people on your healthcare team to help.

Coping with fear

It’s normal to feel afraid. Learning about your cancer and about the treatment options you have 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 people:

  • Otolaryngologist.  This is a healthcare provider who treats problems in the ear, nose, and throat. 

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

  • Medical oncologist. This is a healthcare provider who treats cancer with medicines.

  • Radiation oncologist. This is a healthcare provider who treats cancer with radiation.

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

The 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 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 your cancer. This may involve getting some tests and working with more than one healthcare provider. And you may decide that you want to get a second opinion to help you choose a treatment.

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 coping with cancer. Ask your healthcare team about local support groups.

Online Medical Reviewer: Gersten, Todd, MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Stump-Sutliff, Kim, RN, MSN, AOCNS
Last Review Date: 10/19/2015
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