Mouth Cancer

oral carcinoma / mouth cancer | necrosis

via flickr

What is mouth cancer?

Can be described as cancer that affects the part of our body that allows us to breathe, talk, eat, chew and swallow. It usually starts in the squamous cells, which are the cells that line the mouth. It begins on the outer layer and if not treated can grow into deeper layers of the mouth. Of all the oral cancer diagnoses in 2011 almost 29% of them were in the mouth, 31% were on the tongue and 34% in the throat.

oral carcinoma / mouth cancer

via flickr

Mouth Cancer on Hard Palate

Mouth Cancer on Hard Palate from The CDC/ Sol Silverman, Jr., D.D.S.

How is mouth cancer different from oral cancer?

Mouth and oral cancer are often used to describe the same thing. However, we use the term “mouth cancer” to accurately identify the places in the oral cavity (besides the gums, tongue and throat) that oral cancer can occur. Some of the common parts of the mouth where cancer will develop are the lips, salivary glands, floor or roof of the mouth, hard and soft palate and cheeks.

Mouth Cancer on the Soft Palate

Mouth Cancer on the Soft Palate from The CDC/ Sol Silverman, Jr., D.D.S., University of California, San Francisco

Who is at risk for mouth cancer?

  • Anyone is at risk, but it is most common in individuals who exhibit one or more of the known risk factors.
  • The average age of diagnosis is 62, but it has become more and more common in the younger population as a result of HPV infection.
  • The rate of mouth cancer also varies among countries. This is attributed to the citizens of some countries having more risk factors than others. For example, it is much more common in Hungary and France than it is in the US, and is much less common in Mexico and Japan.

Visit our page dedicated to the Causes of Mouth Cancer for more information on the known risk factors and causes.

Mouth Cancer Patient

Mouth Cancer Patient from the Center for Disease Control

What are my chances of surviving mouth cancer?

The 5 year survival rate of Stage I is 73%, Stage II is 60%, Stage III is 36% and Stage IV is 30%. These statistics from the National Cancer Institute’s SEER program show the percentage of patients that are still living at least five years after their diagnosis. These numbers reveal the importance of early diagnosis. In 2011 about 23% of the deaths related to oral cancer were from cancer in the mouth.

oral carcinoma / mouth cancer, staging: T4N2M0

via flickr

Want more mouth cancer information?

Visit our Mouth Cancer Symptoms page for more information on signs and symptoms and how it is staged.

Precancerous condition- Leukoplakia

Precancerous condition- Leukoplakia Copyright ©2011, WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved

oral carcinoma / mouth cancer, staging: T4N2M0

via Flickr

Want to see more images of mouth cancer?

Visit our Mouth Cancer Pictures page.

See our Mouth Cancer Resources page for additional links to additional mouth cancer information.

Because the oral cavity and mouth are often considered the same things we recommend that you visit our Oral Cancer page for more mouth cancer information and additional links.

Mouth Cancer on the soft palate

Mouth Cancer on the soft palate from The CDC/ Sol Silverman, Jr., D.D.S., University of California, San FranciscoMouth Cancer on the Soft Palate from The CDC/ Sol Silverman, Jr., D.D.S., University of California, San Francisco


Oral Cavity and Oropharyngeal Cancer. American Cancer Society. Accessed January 4, 2012.

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