The goals of the treatment of cancer of the oral cavity

The goals of the treatment of cancer of the oral cavity are:

  • Cure of the cancer

  • Preservation or restoration of speech, mastication, swallowing, and external appearance

  • Minimization of the sequelae of treatment such as dental decay, osteonecrosis of the mandible, and trismus

  • Awareness of the risk of subsequent primary tumors and their management.

Surgery and radiotherapy can be used as a single modality or in combination for the treatment of cancer of the oral cavity.


Treatment Approaches:

  • In general, early-stage (stage I or II) head and neck tumors may be treated using a single modality (surgery or radiotherapy), whereas advanced disease (stage III or IV) frequently benefits from multimodality therapy.

    • The best therapeutic approach for the primary tumor depends on the anatomic site.

    • Most neck disease can be treated equally well with surgery or radiation, thus the modality chosen to treat the neck is based on which modality is selected for the primary.

    • When the primary tumor is treated with irradiation, the regional lymphatics “at-risk” are incorporated into the treatment fields.

    • Neck dissections should remain standardized (ie, complete anatomic dissections, as opposed to “berry picking” or random biopsy) in these settings to avoid incomplete surgery.

Rodrigo Arrangoiz MS, MD, FACS a head and neck surgeon and is a member Center for Advanced Surgical Oncology at Palmetto General Hospital:

He is first author on some publications on oral cavity cancer:


• General surgery:

• Michigan State University:

• 2004 al 2010

• Surgical Oncology / Head and Neck Surgery / Endocrine Surgery:

• Fox Chase Cancer Center (Filadelfia):

• 2010 al 2012

• Masters in Science (Clinical research for health professionals):

• Drexel University (Filadelfia):

• 2010 al 2012

• Surgical Oncology / Head and Neck Surgery / Endocrine Surgery:

• IFHNOS / Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center:

• 2014 al 2016






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