Oral cancer

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Oral cancer
Classification and external resources
Oral cancer of the tongue

Oral cancer is cancer of any part of the mouth.[1] It can start in the mouth, lips, or the oropharynx (the part of the throat at the back of the mouth).

A person can get oral cancer without having any other type of cancer. However, oral cancer can also happen because of metastasis. This means that the person had cancer in some other part of their body, and it spread to the mouth. The person's cancer may be far away from the mouth, or it may be in a part of the body that neighbors the mouth. For example, if a person has cancer of the nasal cavity, the cancer can spread to the mouth.

Types of Oral Cancers[change | change source]

There are a few different types of oral cancers. But about 90% (9 in every 10 cases) are a type called squamous cell carcinomas. Squamous cells make up the main part of the outer layer of the skin. These cells line the lips, mouth, and throat. A "carcinoma" is a type of cancer that can start in these cells in the skin.[2]

Squamous cell carcinomas most often start in the tongue. But they can also start in any other part of the mouth, including the floor of the mouth (under the tongue); the inside lining of the cheek; the gums; the lips; or the palate (the roof of the mouth).

Other oral cancers include:

Causes of mouth cancer[change | change source]

The main risk factors for most oral cancers are tobacco and alcohol consumption. Other risk factors may include:

  • Family history of cancer.
  • human papillomavirus (HPV)
  • Smoking – If you are a cigarette, cigar or pipe smoker, you are six times more likely to get oral cancer than a non-smoker.[3]
  • Poor oral hygiene and gum disease
  • Exposure to the sun

References[change | change source]

  1. Werning, John W (June 9, 2013). Oral cancer: diagnosis, management, and rehabilitation. p. 1. ISBN 978-1-58890-309-9.
  2. "Oral Cancer Facts". Oral Cancer Foundation website. 10 May 2013. Archived from the original on 22 June 2013. Retrieved 11 June 2013.
  3. "Mouth Cancer – Causes and Symptoms | Oral Cancer". Sahyadri Hospital. 2021-09-20. Retrieved 2021-10-14.