Oral cancers are classified with other head and neck cancers and are of special concern because they have a tendency to spread to lymph nodes in the neck. No single symptom is indicative of this type of cancer. Cancers in the lip, pharynx, larynx and sinus cavities are also included in the category of head and neck cancers.
More than 90 percent of the tumors found in this type of cancer are squamous cell carcinomas. Tobacco use — both smoking and chewing tobacco — is the common risk factor for cancer at all these sites.
Human papilloma virus (HPV) infection is a risk factor. The frequency of HPV-associated head and neck cancer is increasing in the United States. HPV is a common sexually transmitted infection spread by skin-to-skin contact. HPV is often associated with cervical cancer, but HPV can also lead head and neck cancers.
Oral cancer represents about 3 percent of all new cancers in the United States.
Why choose the Cancer Therapy & Research Center (CTRC) for oral cancer and head and neck cancer?
A truly large multidisciplinary team is essential for treatment of oral cancer.
The CTRC team delivers exceptional care. Our team includes:
- Head and neck surgeons, also called otolaryngology surgeons who specialize in cancer-related surgery
- Radiation oncologists
- Medical oncologists
- Pathology specialists
- Radiologists who specialize in head & neck cancer imaging
- Plastic and reconstructive surgeons
- Dental and prosthodontic teams
- Speech and swallowing therapy experts
- Rehabilitation and physiotherapy teams
- Social workers
- Consultants from neurosurgery, ophthalmology, psychiatry, audiology and palliative care
The CTRC's head and neck cancer team will prepare a treatment plan after a comprehensive evaluation and discussion at the regularly conducted cancer conferences.
Clinical trials at the CTRC
As a National Cancer Institute (NCI) designated cancer center, the CTRC offers care delivered by teams who specialize in all phases and types of clinical trials.
We have clinical trials available for patients who have just been diagnosed and never been treated. We also have trials for patients who have had prior treatments.
The CTRC offers experimental treatments and first-in-human clinical trials. These special programs are for patients who qualify for these treatment options.
Make an appointment
To request an appointment with our team or to make a referral to one of our physicians, please call the CTRC main number: (210) 450-1000 or 800-340-2872 or email CTRCReferral@uthscsa.edu.