Side Effects of Oral Cancer Treatment

Whenever a patient comes to us for the treatment of Oral Cancer,

The patient or their family members are worried about the side effects.

So we’ll be explaining all the side effects of Oral Cancer treatment.

Primarily, the treatment of Oral Cancer involves Surgery or Radiation Therapy.

To know, Watch the video below OR if you like reading, well read further. 

Side-effects of Surgery

  • Restricted in Opening the mouth

Doctors may remove the jaw or a part of the jaw during oral cancer surgery and later perform plastic surgery on it.

To ensure the normal movement of the jaw post-surgery, doctors recommend doing specific jaw movement exercises.

If the patient doesn’t perform these exercises, they might struggle to open their mouth fully after the recovery and create difficulty while eating.

  • Pain

Although the patient is under anaesthesia during the procedure, they might feel some pain after the procedure.

It’s important to note that a patient will have to deal with some pain as it’s a major surgery.

But pain management medications & diverting the mind from the pain can be beneficial.

  • Nasal tube

Nasal tube is vital to ensure the uninterrupted flow of nutrients to the patient post-surgery.

In some patients, this can cause some discomfort. But a patient should understand that this is a temporary problem.

Once the stitches are healed, the tube will be removed, and the patient won’t have to deal with it anymore.

  • Shoulder or neck becomes stiff

Some patients might experience stiff necks or shoulders after the surgery.

The best way to cope with it is to perform exercises suggested by your oncologist & physiotherapist.

It’s advisable to carry out this throughout their life.

Interesting Read : Discover How Tobacco Leads to Mouth Cancer

Side-effects of Radiation Therapy

  • Common side-effects

Radiation’s side effects for every patient are somewhat different. The most common of these side effects is painful ulcers.

But these ulcers are temporary. They can be controlled & cured with proper medication and care.

  • Swallowing difficulty

Radiation treatment might impact the food pipe & it can become swollen. This results in difficulty in swallowing for some patients. Certain medications might help in dealing with this temporary issue.

  • Skin pigmentation

It’s the most common side effect, and almost every patient has to deal with it. In most cases, the skin normalizes automatically.

In some patients, the skin might heal within a month, while in some cases, it might take up to 6 months. 

  • Absence of taste

Many of our patients complain that they do not feel any taste after the Radiation treatment. This condition normalizes after a couple of months.

But in the meantime, it’s important that the patient avoids too spicy and oily food.

You might want to know : How We Can Detect Throat Cancer Early?


1. What are the common treatment options for oral Cancer?

Answer: Surgery is the gold standard modality. Others are radiation therapy and chemotherapy.

2. How is the success of oral cancer treatment determined?

Answer: The success of oral cancer treatment is determined by factors such as the stage and grade of Cancer and the patient’s overall health.

3. Is there a cure for oral Cancer?

Answer: While treatment can be effective in controlling and preventing the spread of oral Cancer, a complete cure may not always be possible.

Closing thoughts

It’s essential to understand that all treatments carry some risks are side effects. Oral Cancer treatment is no exception.

A patient might have to deal with some side effects, but these treatments can save a patient’s life.

At Amit Cancer Care, we strongly push our patients to maintain a positive attitude and never lose hope. This ensures the treatment delivers the best results and a patient can return to everyday life quickly.

For more information on Cancer treatment, feel free to reach out to our team.

  • About Author

    Dr. Amit Chakraborty

    Cancer Surgeon

Dr. Amit Chakraborty is a Surgical Oncologist in Girgaon, Mumbai and has an experience of 15 years in this field. He is a well known cancer specialist with an expertise in diagnosing and treating head and neck cancer.

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