Oral Cancer Treatment

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Oral cancer is a serious cancer. It can threaten your life and impact your ability to speak and swallow. Many people come to us to seek a second opinion to make sure they get the best course of treatment.

We strive to provide life-saving treatment. But we also use our expertise to minimize the impact of treatment on your appearance and your ability to speak and swallow. 

Oral Cancer Treatment at UVA Health

UVA Health has Virginia's first comprehensive cancer center. This designation by the National Cancer Institute means we have the expertise and latest tools to treat even the most difficult oral cancers.

Depending on your type of cancer, your treatment team may include the following specialists:

  • Head and neck surgeon
  • Radiation oncologist
  • Medical oncologist
  • Dentist
  • Speech and language pathologist
  • Dietitian

With oral cancer, you may need surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. We also offer immunotherapy for some types of oral cancer.

At UVA Health, you'll find experts who specialize in each type of treatment. You'll also find highly trained surgeons with expertise in robotic-assisted surgery for cancers of the tongue, tonsils, and voice box.

Learn more about our expertise with head and neck cancers.

Diagnosing Oral Cancer

Mouth cancer can be difficult to diagnose. Our experts have the experience and tools to find the exact type of cancer. This helps ensure you get the most effective treatment. To diagnose your mouth cancer, we may do the following procedures:

  • Physical exam of the lips and oral cavity
  • Endoscopy
  • Biopsy
  • MRI (magnetic resonance imaging)
  • CT or CAT scan (computed tomography scan)
  • PET scan (positron emission tomography scan)

Striving to Improve Care for HPV-Caused Cancers

As a comprehensive cancer center, we are always searching for better cancer treatments. We do this through clinical trials. 

We have a clinical trial enrolling patients who have a head and neck cancer caused by HPV. If your cancer has spread or returned, learn more about this clinical trial.