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Serious Medicine. Extraordinary Care.

Can I Be Cured of Oral Cancer?

It’s normal to worry when you have oral cancer. You may have these questions. What are my chances of being cured? How long will I live? The answers to these questions are called your prognosis. Your prognosis is the likely outcome of your cancer. Your doctor looks at some of these outcomes when making your prognosis:

  • Your chance of being cured from cancer

  • Your chance of having the cancer come back

  • Your chance of dying of the cancer

To make your prognosis, your doctor will use these facts:

  • The typical outcome for people with oral cancer

  • Your doctor’s experiences with other people who have oral cancer

  • Risk factors that affect your prognosis (for example, continuing to smoke)

  • Your general health

  • Your age

  • If you are being treated for another type of cancer

Some people are less frightened when they learn about their prognosis. Some use this information to help them make decisions about tests or treatments. For others, a prognosis is confusing, scary, and too impersonal to be of use. Ask your doctor to help you understand what the statistics mean. Keep in mind that even your doctor cannot tell you exactly what will happen to you. Remember, it’s your choice how much information to accept and how to deal with it.

It makes some sense to plan when you’re facing a serious disease. Still, don’t allow statistics to dictate your future. There are people who have survived every stage of oral cancer. There are people who have outlived their doctor’s predictions. Your prognosis gives a perspective, but it is not etched in stone. Try to focus your thoughts on the tens of thousands of people who have survived oral cancer. You may be one of them.