Eleanor N. Dana Cancer Center

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Oral Cavity Cancers

The oral cavity includes the lips, gums, tongue, the insides of the cheeks, the base of the roof of your mouth, the section of the throat at the back of your mouth called the oropharynx, and the part of the throat that directly connects to your esophagus called the hypopharynx. Your oral cavity is responsible for holding and processing food for consumption, producing saliva, swallowing and speech.

Oral cavity cancer cells form in the tissues of the oral cavity. Those cells create benign (non cancerous) or malignant (cancerous) tumors. Oral cancers may spread to the lymph nodes and tissues of the neck, or the lungs, liver and other parts of the body.

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More Information about Oral Cancer
For more detailed information about oral cavity cancer, risk factors, signs and symptoms, common treatment options and more, please explore the resources below:

The National Cancer Institute’s (NIH) detailed booklet about oral cancer
The American Cancer Society’s guide to oral cancer
The American Head and Neck Society

Last Updated: 10/17/13