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Oral Cancer

Our Approach

MD Anderson's Head and Neck Center brings together an extraordinary level of expertise and experience to treat cancers of the oral cavity (mouth) and precancerous lesions of the oral area.

Each patient is followed closely by a team of experts including oncologists and radiation oncologists and when necessary surgeons, dentists and speech pathologists. These specially trained experts customize your care, including the most-advanced therapies with the least impact on your body.

Innovative Treatments Offer Hope

At MD Anderson, your care for oral cancer is personalized and may include surgery, or other treatments including targeted therapies. If surgery is necessary, you can count on our renowned surgeons, who use the latest, least-invasive techniques.

Oral cancer and its treatment can affect talking, swallowing, eating and breathing. MD Anderson patients with oral cancer receive the expertise of highly skilled head and neck surgeons, medical and radiation oncologists, plastic surgeons, dental oncologists and speech and swallowing specialists, all working together to provide the best chance for successful treatment for oral cancer with the least impact on your body.

We offer new strategies to maintain dental and oral health treatment. Our highly specialized speech pathologists and therapists are among the most experienced in the nation, particularly in the newest methods of voice restoration and speech.

Because early diagnosis gives you the best chance for successful treatment, the Oral Premalignancy Clinic provides a specialized setting for diagnosis, monitoring and treatment of precancerous lesions of the oral cavity. New optical techniques, less-invasive alternatives to biopsy, may help find some oral cancers earlier.

And at MD Anderson, you're surrounded by the strength of one of the nation's largest and most experienced comprehensive cancer centers, which has all the services needed to treat the whole person – not just the disease.

If you have been diagnosed with oral cancer, we're here to help. Call 1-877-632-6789 to make an appointment or request an appointment online.

Why Choose MD Anderson?

  • Surgical expertise, including minimally invasive techniques, to treat oral cancer
  • Innovative treatments, including tumor growth factor inhibitors, for oral cancer
  • Reconstruction techniques after oral cancer treatment
  • Treatment of cancer and pre-cancerous lesions

Oral Cancer Knowledge Center

Treatment at MD Anderson

Oral cancer is treated in our:

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Oral Cancer Facts

The American Cancer Society estimates that more than 13,000 people in the United States were diagnosed with oral cancer in 2011. Oral cancer is most often found in the tongue, the lips and the floor of the mouth. It also can begin in the gums, the minor salivary glands, the lining of the lips and cheeks, the roof of the mouth or the area behind the wisdom teeth.

Chances of successfully treating oral cancer are highest when it is found early. Our team of experts in the Oral Premalignancy Clinic works closely together to detect and diagnose oral cancer in its early stages.

Oral Cancer Types

Almost all cancers of the mouth occur in squamous cells, the type of cells that line the mouth, tongue and lips. These are called squamous cell carcinomas (cancers). Not all tumors in the mouth are cancer. Some are benign (not cancer), and some are precancerous, meaning they may become cancer.

If you have been diagnosed with oral cancer, we’re here to help. Call 1-877-632-6789 to make an appointment or request an appointment online.


© 2014 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center