FOLLOW UP CARE
Will follow up care be necessary after the initial treatment is over?
Yes, follow up care for oral cancer is very important. After initial treatment is over, follow-up care is necessary to see if the cancer returns and to watch for the development of new oral cancers. If an oral cancer returns and is caught early it may still be cured. Cancer cure is defined as the cancer not returning for at least five years.
What can I do to prevent recurrence of oral cancer?
- Continue prescribed follow-up with your treatment team. If cancer comes back, it is more likely to be cured if detected and treated early.
- If you smoke, stop smoking. Patients who continue to smoke have significantly greater chance of the cancer returning or having a second oral cancer develop.
- If you drink alcohol, consider cutting back.
What is the most important thing in the care of my oral cancer?
Oral cancer is a dangerous disease. Your treatment should be performed by a physician or a team of physicians with experience treating this disease.
Where can I find an experienced physician for my oral cancer?
The American Head and Neck Society (AHNS) is an organization dedicated to advancing knowledge about treatment of head and neck cancer. To find an AHNS member physician near you, please use our our searchable directory.
Submitted by Nitin Pagedar, MD; Jeffrey Liu, MD; Neil Gross, MD
For the American Head and Neck Society Education Committee