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Oral cancer information

What is oral cancer?

Oral cancer begins in the mouth, also called the oral cavity. This region of the body includes the lips, the inside lining of the lips and cheeks (called the buccal mucosa), the teeth, the gums, most of the tongue, the bottom of the mouth, and the bony roof of the mouth, or hard palate.

In addition, oral cancer can also develop in the oropharynx, which is the part of the throat that is just behind the mouth. When cancer occurs here, it is called oropharyngeal cancer or throat cancer, and can include the back of the tongue, the back of the roof of the mouth, the tonsils, and the walls of the upper throat.

The oral cavity and oropharynx are key to the healthy functioning of the body. They help us breathe, eat and speak. Salivary glands in the oral cavity start breaking down food as we chew, an essential part of digestion.

Cancer can develop in any part of the oral cavity. Because each part of the oral cavity is different, oral cancer encompasses a wide variety of cancer types that are treated in different ways.

Types of oral cancer

Learn about the different types of oral cancer.

Oral cancer symptoms

Read about common oral cancer symptoms.

Oral cancer risk factors

Read about common risk factors for oral cancer.

Stages of oral cancer

Learn about the stages of oral cancer.

We're here to guide you through the cancer journey

We understand you may be feeling overwhelmed with questions and concerns about your type of cancer and what it all means. We're here to help guide you through the process.

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