ENT Head & Neck Surgery Center

Rm 02, 5/F., Kai Seng Commerical Centre,
4-6 Hankow Road, TST Kln, HK
(near Kowloon Hotel)
Tel: (852) 3100 0555
Fax: (852) 3100 0556

Lawrence Chow / ENT Doctor

Recovering from Oral Cancer – How to Cope?

Cancer is one of the most frightening words in the English language. It often conjures up images of death and pain, and people with cancer often face life-altering changes for many years to come. For many people with oral cancer, there is a long road ahead before recovering from the disease and getting back to their normal everyday lives.


The types of treatment available

There are many types of treatment for oral cancer. The goal of most treatments is to destroy or remove the tumor or cancerous tissue. It may take years of treatment before the cancer goes away completely. There are also some treatments that can kill cancer cells without removing them from the body. These treatments are called “chemotherapy” and they include radiation therapy, immunotherapy, and hormone therapy.


What should I expect at each stage of treatment?

The first stage of treatment is surgery. If the cancer has not spread beyond the base of tongue, it will be completely removed. If the tumor is in the glands of the neck, they may be removed as well.

The second stage is removing lymph nodes that are suspected to have cancerous cells. This stage will also include chemotherapy which can be given orally or through an intravenous needle. Radiation may also be given which kills any remaining tumor cells.

The third stage of treatment is supportive care. This includes things like medication to help with side effects and vitamins to make sure you are getting your daily nutrients due to loss in appetite or nausea from chemo treatments.


When can I start to live a normal life again?

It really depends on what you mean by “normal.” If you’re able to eat normal foods and go about your day without feeling like you’re living in pain, then yes, you can live a normal life. But if you’ve had radiation treatments or need to take medication for an extended period of time, it may be difficult to find normal. Seek help from loved ones and professionals to find out what’s best for your situation.


How long will the recovery process take?

It is impossible to predict how long the recovery process will take. It could be anywhere from weeks to months. The length of the process depends on various factors, such as the severity of the cancer, whether or not there were any complications during treatment, and if you had radiation therapy.


Tips for managing life during recovery

Although there are some days in the rough periods, it’s important to try to focus on doing things that give you pleasure and will help you heal.


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