Oral cavity cancer is cancer involving the tongue, gums, roof of mouth and cheek. Risks factors for oral cavity cancer include smoking and excess alcohol use.
 

What treatments are available for oral cavity cancer?

At UChicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center, our head and neck cancer team strives to provide effective treatment that gives the patient the best outcome, while preserving as much speech, voice and swallowing function as possible. We provide a true multidisciplinary, individualized treatment approach for all our patients.
 
Treatment for early stage oral cavity cancer usually involves surgery, while a combination of surgery, radiation and chemotherapy may be needed for later stage disease. UChicago Medicine is an international leader in the use of non-surgical treatment therapies and clinical trials for late stage oral cavity cancers.
 
We offer minimally invasive options for oral cavity cancer that can spare the effects of traditional neck operations or radiation therapy. In addition, our head and neck cancer surgeons offer sentinel lymph node biopsy, a procedure to determine if cancer has spread to lymph nodes beyond the primary tumor. This procedure helps stage the cancer and assists in determining if additional surgery is necessary.
Chef Triumphs Over Tongue Cancer

Cancer specialists across the country told top chef Grant Achatz that his only option for treating a stage 4 tumor was to remove most of his tongue. The head and neck cancer team at UChicago Medicine offered him a different approach, one that saved his tongue and his life.

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