Head & Neck Cancer
At Ozark Prosthodontics in Fayetteville, AR, we recognize that a cancer diagnosis of any kind is frightening, and no patient should deal with it alone. The best tool for dealing with cancer is knowledge.
Dental Care Before, During & After Cancer
At OP, we understand how hard it can be to find a doctor whom you like, respect, and trust. We make the effort to listen and approach this process with empathy, understanding, and compassion. We will work with your cancer specialists to schedule OP services in advance of surgical and radiation therapy. By doing so, we can help maximize your opportunities to eat and smile, before, during, and after cancer. It is often the sequencing of treatment that can often be a critical component to help get you back to living your life.
We also work with cancer patients who have already completed surgical procedures, advanced radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. We understand the complications of having a dry mouth, sore mouth or throat, tender or bleeding gums, jaw pain, difficulty in opening your mouth, and pain associated with crumbling teeth. Our doctors have training and experience in working with patients just like you. We can prescribe mouth rinses & gel that soothe a dry mouth, provide frequent hygiene to help optimize teeth, and complete services that are less invasive with the goal to keep you out of pain, functioning, and smiling.
Our OP doctors focus exclusively on complicated cases. Consequently, our doctors treat more rare conditions than most doctors see in a lifetime. We are renowned for using technology to assist with diagnosing and designing solutions for our patients. We are pioneers in creating more effective, less traumatic, and longer-lasting treatments. Our team has completed advanced training in surgery and prosthetics. Our patients benefit from that quest by receiving not only the best treatments to minimize the impact of cancer and treatment but will also give them the best chance at a high quality of life.
We want to help. Please call.
Cancer is defined as an abnormal growth or division of cells, which can occur in any part of the body—often resulting in the formation of tumors that impede body functioning. Head and neck cancer specifically refers to a group of cancers that affect the anatomy above the clavicle (excluding the brain).
At Ozark Prosthodontics in Fayetteville, AR, we recognize that a cancer diagnosis of any kind is frightening, and no patient should deal with it alone. That’s why our team makes the effort to approach this process with empathy, understanding, and compassion. We provide comprehensive care for our patients with head and neck cancer, from diagnosis through treatment and beyond, as they face the challenge of managing the cancer diagnosis.
Understanding Head & Neck Cancer
As we believe that the best tool for defeating cancer is knowledge, we strive to ensure that our patients have a thorough understanding of the condition, its causes, and the treatment options available. Below, we discuss what head and neck cancer is, its risk factors, and the comprehensive treatment options available.
We aim to give our patients a better understanding of their condition to help them make informed decisions about their care. Our team will also provide emotional support throughout the process so that our patients never feel alone in their fight against cancer. We hope that this information provides a useful resource for our patients.
Please call our office if you have any questions.
What Is Head & Neck Cancer?
Head and neck cancer is categorized into three main types: squamous cell carcinoma, which is the most common type, salivary gland cancer, and thyroid gland cancer.
Squamous cell carcinoma can affect the throat, mouth, and nose; generally, any area of the head or neck that is lined with squamous cells, or a mucosa membrane, can be affected. Salivary gland cancer can affect the salivary glands and thyroid cancer affects the thyroid gland, which is located at the base of the throat.
There are several risk factors that can increase a person’s chances of developing head and neck cancer. These include:
- Smoking or chewing tobacco
- Drinking alcohol
- Being exposed to certain types of viruses (such as HPV)
- Having a weakened immune system due to disease or medication
- Using certain types of drugs for a long time
- Being age 40 or above
Diagnosis At Ozark Prosthodontics
At Ozark Prosthodontics, our team works collaboratively with oncologists to definitively diagnose and identify the stage of head and neck cancer. We utilize a range of diagnostic tools—including radiographic imaging and biopsies sent to pathology to confirm the presence of cancer cells.
Of all the diagnostic tools we possess, we rely most heavily on our patients to reach a diagnosis. This is because the key to the most successful outcome when treating cancer is catching it early. As soon as a patient notices any abnormal symptoms, they should contact our office for an assessment. Upon initiating this contact, our team of specialists will review the patient’s health history and provide the necessary examinations to identify signs or symptoms that might suggest a cancer diagnosis.
The most common symptoms we look out for include the following:
- Swelling or lump in the head and neck area
- Unexplained weight loss
- Persistent headache or sore throat
- Lingering cough or hoarseness of voice
- Anemia (low red blood cell count)
- Difficulty swallowing
Treatment At Ozark Prosthodontics
The head and neck are some of the most critical points of the entire human body. Not only are these anatomical components necessary for survival, but they also have a strong influence on what makes us human.
- Our voice allows us to speak and connect with others
- Our mouth and salivary palates are used for eating and tasting
- Our eyes are the portals to our world
Our team at Ozark Prosthodontics is committed to preserving these essential bodily functions while providing our patients with the best possible care. In fact, we make it our mission to create treatment plans that focus on the preservation of form and function while maintaining quality of life. We do this by taking a collaborative approach to treatment—not just relying on surgery, but working with oncologists and radiologists to determine the best path forward.
Why Choose Ozark Prosthodontics?
In addition to excellent medical care, our team also provides our patients with educational resources and emotional support throughout their journey. We understand that battling cancer can be an overwhelming experience, and we are dedicated to providing a supportive environment so that our patients can feel at ease during their treatment.
If you or someone you know is experiencing any of the symptoms listed above or has been diagnosed with head and neck cancer, please contact our office to schedule an evaluation. We are here to help!