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Mouth Cancer

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

Mouth cancer is a condition where cancer cells form on the lips or in the mouth or throat. The most common type of mouth cancer is squamous cell carcinoma.

WHILE YOU ARE HERE:

Informed consent

is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.

Endotracheal (ET) tube:

An endotracheal tube may be put into your mouth or nose. It goes down into your windpipe to help keep your airway open and help you breathe. It may be hooked to a ventilator (breathing machine), and you may get extra oxygen through your ET tube. You will not be able to talk while the ET tube is in place.

You may need extra oxygen

if your blood oxygen level is lower than it should be. You may get oxygen through a mask placed over your nose and mouth or through small tubes placed in your nostrils. Ask your healthcare provider before you take off the mask or oxygen tubing.

Diet:

It is important that you get good nutrition when you have cancer. Eat a variety of healthy foods. Eating healthy foods may help you feel better and have more energy. If you have trouble swallowing, you may be given foods that are soft or in liquid form. Ask your caregiver about any extra nutrition you may need, such as nutrition shakes or vitamins. Tell your caregiver if you have problems eating, or if you are getting sick to your stomach.

Medicines:

  • Antibiotics help treat or prevent an infection caused by bacteria.
  • Pain medicine may be given. Do not wait until the pain is severe before you ask for pain medicine.

Treatment:

  • Surgery is the preferred treatment for mouth cancer.
  • Radiotherapy is a procedure that uses radiation used to kill cancer cells and stop the cancer from spreading. It may be used with or without surgery.
  • Chemotherapy is a type of medicine that may be used with or without radiation to kill the cancer cells.
  • Biotherapy are medicines that may boost your immune system making it easier for your body to fight the cancer.

RISKS:

You may need reconstructive surgery after your mouth cancer is removed. You may have side effects to the medicine that treat mouth cancer, such as, nausea, vomiting, and hair loss. You may have side effects from radiation treatment, such as, skin changes or loss of taste. Mouth cancer my spread to other parts of your body.

CARE AGREEMENT:

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

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