Jefferson University Hospitals

Oral Cancer

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Oral cancer is found in the mouth area and the oropharynx (the throat area at the back of the mouth). Oral tumors can develop anywhere in the mouth and some tumors are benign (noncancerous), some may be precancerous (a condition that may become cancerous), while others may be cancerous. Different types of oral cancer may develop in different areas of the mouth and throat.

If you are diagnosed with oral cancer, the experienced team at the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson can carefully guide you through the available treatment options that address all your medical, emotional and spiritual needs.

A Multidisciplinary Approach

Bringing together the expertise of Jefferson specialists in oncology, head and neck surgery, oral and maxillofacial surgery, pathology, radiation therapy and radiology, your medical team will give a thorough evaluation and recommend a personalized treatment plan depending on the size of the tumor, its location and its progression. If your cancer is removed surgically, your physicians may recommend reconstructive surgery to restore your facial appearance or regain the ability to speak and swallow. Your care may also include speech therapy.

If you have sores or lesions associated with oral cancer, the specialists of our Oral Mucosal Lesion Diagnostic and Treatment Center can provide expert diagnosis and treatment. Housed within Jefferson's Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, our physicians can provide diagnosis, treatment and a second opinion in treating these tissue abnormalities or tumors. We can also assist with other bothersome symptoms such as dry mouth, pain, numbness, chronic snoring and facial swelling on an elective or emergency basis.

Discovering New Cancer Treatments

The Center's physicians and scientists have helped pioneer new approaches to cancer treatment by translating scientific discoveries into improved patient care. Our physicians are experienced in using the most advanced treatment methods and technologies and are at the forefront of developing new chemotherapies. Jefferson is also home to the region's busiest radiation oncology center and one of the largest programs for cancer treatment in the Delaware Valley.

We're Here for You

Additionally, we will provide you and your family a support network that includes specially trained nurses, educators, fellow patients and cancer survivors. Among the wide variety of support programs offered at Jefferson is our Buddy Program, which matches cancer patients with trained volunteer cancer survivors who have been through treatment themselves. These volunteers provide one-on-one support either over the telephone or on-site in the waiting area at the Bodine Center for Radiation Therapy/Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson.

You can also access services to meet your emotional and psychological needs during your course of treatment through the Marcus Institute of Integrative Health.