Mouth Cancer and Tongue Cancer
Duke doctors use a comprehensive and personalized approach to detect and treat oral cancers that grow in your oral cavity, including your mouth, tongue and palate. We use sophisticated surgical techniques to remove the tumor, and do everything we can to preserve your ability to function and resume your normal life.
Experts in Mouth Cancer and Tongue Cancer
Oral cancers can occur on the lips, tongue, the inner cheeks, the floor of the mouth, and the palate. They need early diagnosis and prompt treatment to ensure the best possible outcome.
Our doctors and surgeons work closely with patients who experience mouth cancer, tongue cancer and other oral cancers. We are expertly equipped in a range of surgical techniques to remove tumors while preserving your ability to speak and function normally. We work as a team, incorporating specialists in ear nose and throat surgery, medical and radiation oncology, reconstructive surgery, oral surgery and dentistry. Our goal is to create a personalized treatment plan for the stage and type of your oral cancer. We do our best to treat your mouth cancer or tongue cancer, and return you to your daily activities as quickly as possible.
Choose Duke for your oral cancer treatment because we offer:
- Nationally-ranked cancer program. We are consistently ranked among the best cancer programs in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. In addition, as a National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, our oral cancer team is recognized for exploring new treatment opportunities through ongoing clinical trials. We offer you the latest research discoveries before they are available elsewhere.
- Access to ongoing research. You may be eligible to ongoing research through clinical trials that may help you or others with oral cancers.
- A comprehensive team. Our specialists, including otolaryngologists who are experts in head and neck surgery, medical, surgical and radiation oncologists, dentists, reconstructive surgeons and oral surgeons. Our specialists work together to ensure you receive the best possible care for your mouth cancer or tongue cancer. Specially trained nurses, occupational therapists and speech pathologists help you recover and resume your daily activities.
- Experienced radiologists. Our radiologists are specially trained to read images for tracheal cancer, and have experienced based on doing just that on a regular basis. We use MRI and CT which produce superior quality images with lower doses of radiation exposure.
- Support for you. Our comprehensive support services range from helping patients minimize the side effects of treatment to coping with the emotional and psychological effects of diagnosis and treatment. View all of our cancer support groups in our event calendar.
- Comforting environment. Our Duke Cancer Center features spacious waiting areas, a Quiet Room, large infusion rooms, and a rooftop garden area where patients - based on their treatment regimen - can receive chemotherapy outdoors.
Removes the tumor, part of the affected oral cavity, lymph nodes and surrounding tissues depending on the type and size of the tumor, and if the tumor has spread. Our surgeons use a wide range of surgical approaches, including laser surgery, which can reduce bleeding. They also employ robotic tools to increase precision and visualization as well as allow them to remove hard-to-reach tumors. You may be able to participate an experimental procedure, now being tested in clinical trials, which is evaluating the benefits of removing oral cancers using robotic tools through the mouth, rather than a surgically through the neck.
MRI and CT imaging technology pinpoints the precise location of the tumor, and target it with beams of high-energy X-rays which destroy the cancer cells. This image-guided approach, used before and after surgery, minimizes damage to surrounding healthy tissue.
Kills or slows the growth of the tumor through medicines and may be recommended if your cancer has spread.
A small sample of tissue is removed and examined under a microscope to look for the presence of cancer.
CT, MRI and PET scans may be used to locate and identify the type of cancer, and to determine if it has spread. We use the latest MRI technology to ensure superior imaging, and CT to produce superior results with less exposure to radiation.
A lighted tube is inserted in the mouth to identify cancer and determine its extent, how big it is and what structures are involved..
Radioactive material is injected into a vein and travels through the bloodstream. A scan of the radioactive material determines if the cancer has spread to the bone.