Health Encyclopedia

 

Health Encyclopedia Home



What Happens During Chemotherapy for Oral Cancer

What Happens During Chemotherapy for Oral Cancer

Photo of intravenous drug bag

Most people with cancer have chemotherapy in an outpatient part of the hospital, at the doctor's office, or at home. However, depending on the drugs you take and your general health, you may need to stay in the hospital during treatment. You may receive these drugs by an intravenous line (IV) or in a pill form, or in a combination of the 2.

Chemotherapy for oral cancer can mean taking more than 1 drug. Combining drugs can help tumors shrink more, but can also mean more side effects. When more than 1 drug is prescribed, the drugs are usually given 1 after the other, and then given again as a treatment course every 2 to 3 weeks. You'll have a rest period between each treatment. Each period of treatment and rest is called a cycle. These cycles reduce damage to healthy cells. Rests in between treatment give cells a chance to recover. Your doctor will decide if you need to get chemotherapy daily, weekly, every few weeks, or monthly. Your treatment will usually continue for 2 to 6 months, depending on its effectiveness.

Here are some common chemotherapy drugs for oral cancer:

  • Cisplatin

  • Fluorouracil

  • Carboplatin

  • Paclitaxel

  • Docetaxel

  • Methotrexate

  • Ifosfamide

  • Bleomycin

Chemotherapy may be combined with radiation therapy (called chemoradiotherapy) in certain circumstances. The combination may be used prior to surgery to help shrink the tumor, which can make it easier to remove. Or chemoradiotherapy may be used in patients whose cancer is too advanced for surgery. However, the combination of chemotherapy and radiation therapy can result in severe side effects that may be too much for some people to tolerate.

 
Related Items
Content Type 134
  Top 10 Cancers Among Men
Nutritional Supplement Advisor
  Green Tea Extract
  Spirulina
Cancer Source
  Oral Cancer Introduction
  Statistics About Oral Cancer
  Am I At Risk for Oral Cancer?
  How Can I Prevent Oral Cancer?
  What Are the Symptoms of Oral Cancer?
  Understanding Your Stage of Oral Cancer
  What Happens During Surgery for Oral Cancer
  What to Expect During Radiation Therapy for Oral Cancer
  Do What You Can to Ease Side Effects of Treatment for Oral Cancer
  How Does My Doctor Find Oral Cancer?
  Important Information About Your Treatment Options for Oral Cancer
  Common Side Effects After Surgery for Oral Cancer
  Common Side Effects After Radiation Therapy for Oral Cancer
  Tests that Help Evaluate Oral Cancer
  I've Just Been Told I Have Oral Cancer
  Can I Survive Oral Cancer? What Is My Prognosis?
  How Can I Keep Oral Cancer From Recurring?
  What Can I Do If I’m At Risk for Oral Cancer?
  Tell Your Healthcare Team How You Feel During Treatment for Oral Cancer
  Making the Decision to Have Chemotherapy for Oral Cancer
  What to Expect After Chemotherapy for Oral Cancer
  Questions to Ask About Treatment for Oral Cancer
  Surgery for Oral Cancer
  Making the Decision to Have Radiation Therapy for Oral Cancer
Cancer FAQs
  Frequently Asked Questions About Oral Cancer
Daily News Feed
  Single Men Show Higher Risk of Cancer-Linked Oral HPV
  Family History of Cancer May Raise Risk for Other Types of Tumors
  More Evidence Backs Routine CT Scans for Early Lung Cancer Detection
  Tooth Cavities Linked to Lower Risk of Head, Neck Cancer in Study
  Researchers Tie Increased Throat Cancer Cases to HPV Infection
  Why Many U.S. Preteens Aren't Getting the HPV Shot
  Surgery With Follow-Up Radiation Best for Tongue Cancer: Study
  Obesity May Raise Death Risk From Tongue Cancer
  Head, Throat Cancer Survival May Be Longer if Tumor Caused by HPV: Study
  HPV-Linked Throat Cancer May Have Telltale First Symptoms
  HPV-Linked Oral Cancers May Not Be 'Contagious'
  No Drop in Smokeless Tobacco Use Among U.S. Workers: CDC
Adult Diseases and Conditions
  Oral Cancer
  Oral Cancer and Tobacco