Mouth and Throat Tumors: Your Healthcare Team

Your healthcare team will explain your options. They can answer any questions you have. They’ll work with you during all stages of your treatment. Members of your healthcare team may include:

Man talking to healthcare provider in exam room.

  • Primary care physician. This healthcare provider oversees your health needs.

  • Head and neck surgeon. This healthcare provider does mouth and throat surgery. He or she may be an otolaryngologist (ENT) who treats ear, nose, and throat diseases. Or you may have a general surgeon who also does other kinds of surgery.

  • Dentist. This healthcare provider treats tooth and gum diseases and injuries.

  • Nurses. Nurses care for you. They also teach you and your family how to care for yourself.

  • Oncologist. This healthcare provider focuses on treating cancer.

  • Anesthesiologist. This healthcare provider gives medicine to prevent pain during and after surgery.

  • Pathologist. This healthcare provider finds diseases by studying cells and tissues with a microscope.

  • Radiation team. These healthcare providers use high-energy X-rays to treat problems.

  • Speech pathologists, occupational therapists, and physical therapists. These people help you get better after treatment.

  • Dietitians. These people help plan your diet during and after treatment.

  • Pain management team. These healthcare providers give medicine to ease pain.

  • Plastic/reconstructive team. These healthcare providers do corrective surgery if a large amount of tissue is taken out.

The American Cancer Society offers these tips for working with your healthcare team:

  • Take an active part in your care.

  • Keep a list of tests, treatments, and hospital stays you have had. As team members change, this list will be helpful.

  • Expect and work to have an attitude of trust, mutual respect, and cooperation.

  • Give accurate health information.

  • Always have another person with you when you talk with a team member. Ask that person to take notes.

  • Make a list of questions before each appointment. Have them answered before you leave.

  • Tell your team members when you are confused or frustrated.

Online Medical Reviewer: Ashutosh Kacker MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Daphne Pierce-Smith RN MSN CCRC
Online Medical Reviewer: Marianne Fraser MSN RN
Date Last Reviewed: 2/1/2020
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