All cases will be discussed at the multidisciplinary tumour board where the best recommended treatment options will be detailed. Treatment modality depends on:
For early stage disease, single modality treatment is considered either with radiotherapy or surgery of the primary oropharyngeal lesion and the associated nodes in the neck. For more advanced stages, multi-modality treatment is needed, either a combination of chemoradiotherapy or surgery with postoperative radiotherapy, with or without chemotherapy.
Surgery for oropharyngeal cancers can be done through the mouth (transoral approach) or may require open approaches that involve splitting the lip and/or the mandible or through the neck. With the increasing use of robotic surgery, transoral approach can be applied to many more cases of oropharyngeal cancers that previously needed the open approaches for access.
Even after completion of treatment of cancer, patients often have to undergo months of rehabilitation due to altered speech and swallowing. Hence, intensive speech and swallowing therapy, as well as regular dietician review, is to be expected by our patients.