As of April 20, Shenandoah Oncology will reopen our clinic after a temporary closure. During the time of our closure, our facilities were extensively cleaned and sanitized. Additionally, we have completed a comprehensive evaluation and response coordinated with the Virginia Department of Health and have concluded that it is safe to resume treatment in our clinic. The wellbeing of our patients continues to be our top priority. We are instating additional preventive measures to ensure a safe care environment, including:

  • Enhanced screening of anyone entering the facility.
  • Requirement of anyone entering the building to wear a face covering. We will provide procedure masks to patients.
  • The operational flow in our building has been modified to allow maximize spacing between individuals in our facility.

We know how difficult and stressful this time is for patients and their families. Our care team will continue to evaluate the most appropriate way to provide continued treatment for each patient during the pandemic, whether in person at our office or by telemedicine. We’re here for you! Always.

Disease & Drug Information

Oral Cancer Diagnosis

If you have symptoms that suggest oral cancer, your doctor or dentist will check your mouth and throat for red or white patches, lumps, swelling, or other problems. A physical exam includes looking carefully at the roof of your mouth, back of your throat, and insides of your cheeks and lips. The floor of your mouth and lymph nodes in your neck will also be checked.

An ear, nose, and throat specialist can see the back of your nose, tongue, and throat by using a small, long-handled mirror or a lighted tube. Sometimes pictures need to be made with a CT scan or MRI to find a hidden tumor. (The Staging section describes imaging tests.)

The removal of a small piece of tissue to look for cancer cells is called a biopsy. Usually, a biopsy is done with local anesthesia. Sometimes, it’s done under general anesthesia. A pathologist then looks at the tissue under a microscope to check for cancer cells. A biopsy is the only sure way to know if the abnormal area is cancer.

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