Cancer that develops in any part of the mouth.
Risk factors include tobacco use, heavy alcohol use and human papillomavirus (HPV) infection.
Symptoms include a sore that doesn’t heal, a lump or a white or red patch on the inside of the mouth.
Treatment includes surgery and radiation therapy. In some cases, chemotherapy may be required.


The most common symptoms of oral cancer include:
Swelling / thickening, lumps or bumps, rough spots / scabs / or eroded areas on the lips, gums or other areas inside the mouth
The development of velvety white, red, or speckled (white and red) patches in the mouth
Unexplained bleeding in the mouth
Unexplained numbness, loss of sensation, or pain / tenderness in any area of the face, mouth, or neck
Persistent sores on the face, neck or mouth that bleed easily and do not heal within 2 weeks
Pain or a feeling that something is stuck in the back of the throat
Difficulty chewing or swallowing, speaking, or moving the jaw or tongue
Hoarseness, chronic sore throat, or change in voice
Ear pain
A change in the way your teeth or dentures fit together
Dramatic weight loss


Smoking. Cigarette, cigar, or pipe smokers are six times more likely than nonsmokers to develop oral cancers.
Smokeless tobacco users. Users of dip, snuff, or chewing tobacco products are 50 times more likely to develop cancers of the cheek, gums, and lining of the lips.
Excessive consumption of alcohol. Oral cancers are about six times more common in drinkers than in nondrinkers.

Benign tumors of the oral cavity: Several types of non-cancerous tumors and tumor-like conditions can develop in the oral cavity and oropharynx. Sometimes these conditions can turn into cancer. For this reason, benign tumors are often removed surgically. Types of benign lesions include:

Eosinophilic granuloma
Granular cell tumor
Condyloma acuminata
Verruciform xanthoma
Pyogenic granuloma
Odontogenic tumors (lesions that start in dental tissue)
Leukoplakia and Erythroplakia: These non-cancerous conditions develop when certain types of abnormal cells form in the mouth or throat. When leukoplakia develops, a white area is visible, while erythroplakia is marked by a red area, which may be flat or slightly raised and often bleeds when scratched. Both conditions can be precancerous, which means they can progress to various types of cancer. When these conditions occur, a biopsy or other test is done to determine if the cells are cancerous. About 25% of leukoplakias are cancerous when discovered or become precancerous. Erythroplakia is usually more severe, with around 70 cases considered cancerous, either at diagnosis or later.

Lip cancer
Lip cancer, the most common form of oral cancer, mainly affects men. Cancer of the lip is divided into two types: squamous cells and basal cells. The most common type of lip cancer is formed in squamous cells, which are the thin, flat cells that line the lips and mouth.

Common symptoms of lip cancer
Symptoms of lip cancer are similar to those of other types of oral cancer. These symptoms are often mistaken for a cold that does not go away or a persistent toothache. Other symptoms include:

A sore on the lip that does not heal
Persistent pain or numbness in the lips
A lump or thickening on the lip
A white or red spot on the lip
A cervical mass

Mouth cancer
Oral cancer is a type of oral cancer that develops in any part of the mouth, including the lips, gums, and tongue.

Tongue cancer
Tongue cancer is a type of oral cancer that forms in the front two-thirds of the tongue. Cancer that forms in the back third of the tongue is considered a type of head and neck cancer.

Cancer of the tongue usually develops in squamous cells, which are the thin, flat cells that line the surface of the tongue.


Tests and procedures used to diagnose oral cancer include:

Physical examination. Your doctor or dentist will examine your lips and mouth for abnormalities – areas of irritation, such as sores and white patches (leukoplakia).
Sample of tissue to be tested (biopsy). If a suspicious area is found, your doctor or dentist may take a sample of cells for lab tests in a procedure called a biopsy. The doctor can use a cutting tool to cut a tissue sample or use a needle to take a sample. In the lab, cells are analyzed for cancer or precancerous changes that indicate a risk of future cancer.
Determine the extent of cancer
LeukoplakiaOpen pop-up dialog
After oral cancer is diagnosed, your doctor will work to determine the extent (stage) of your cancer. Oral cancer staging tests may include:

Using a small camera to inspect your throat. During a procedure called endoscopy, your doctor may pass a small flexible camera fitted with a light in your throat to look for signs of cancer spreading beyond your mouth.
Imaging tests. Various imaging tests can help determine if the cancer has spread beyond your mouth. Imaging tests can include x-rays, CT scans, MRI scans, and positron emission tomography (PET) scans, among others. Not everyone needs all of the tests. Your doctor will determine the appropriate tests based on your condition.
The stages of oral cancer are indicated in Roman numerals I to IV. A lower stage, such as stage I, indicates a smaller cancer confined to one area. A higher stage, such as stage IV, indicates more cancer, or that the cancer has spread to other areas of the head or neck or to other areas of the body. The stage of your cancer helps your doctor determine your treatment options.


Treatment for oral cancer depends on the location and stage of your cancer, as well as your general health and personal preferences. You can have one type of treatment or have a combination of cancer treatments. Treatment options include surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. Discuss your options with your doctor.

Surgery for oral cancer may include:

Surgery to remove the tumor. Your surgeon can cut away the tumor and a margin of healthy tissue around it to make sure all cancer cells have been removed. Smaller cancers can be removed with minor surgery. Larger tumors may require more extensive procedures. For example, removing a larger tumor may involve removing a section of your jaw or part of your tongue.
Surgery to remove cancer that has spread to the neck. If the cancer cells have spread to the lymph nodes in your neck or if there is a high risk of this happening depending on the size or depth of your cancer, your surgeon may recommend a procedure to remove the lymph nodes and related tissue in your neck (neck dissection). Neck dissection removes any cancer cells that may have spread to your lymph nodes. It is also helpful in determining if you will need additional treatment after surgery.
Surgery to reconstruct the mouth. After surgery to remove your cancer, your surgeon may recommend reconstructive surgery to rebuild your mouth and help you regain the ability to speak and eat. Your surgeon may transplant skin, muscle, or bone from other parts of your body to rebuild your mouth. Dental implants can also be used to replace your natural teeth.
Surgery carries a risk of bleeding and infection. Surgery for oral cancer often affects your appearance, as well as your ability to speak, eat, and swallow.

You may need a tube to help you eat, drink, and take medicine. For short-term use, the tube can be inserted through the nose and into the stomach. In the longer term, a tube can be inserted through your skin and into your stomach.

Your doctor can refer you to specialists who can help you cope with these changes.

Radiation therapy uses high-energy beams, such as x-rays and protons, to kill cancer cells. Radiation therapy is most often given by a machine outside of your body (external radiation), but it can also come from radioactive seeds and wires placed near your cancer (brachytherapy).

Radiation therapy is often used after surgery. But sometimes it can be used on its own if you have early stage oral cancer. In other situations, radiation therapy can be combined with chemotherapy. This combination increases the effectiveness of radiation therapy, but it also increases any side effects you might experience. In advanced oral cancer, radiation therapy can help relieve signs and symptoms caused by cancer, such as pain.

Side effects of radiation therapy on your mouth can include dry mouth, tooth decay, and jaw damage.

Your doctor will recommend that you see a dentist before starting radiation therapy to make sure your teeth are as healthy as possible. Any unhealthy tooth may require treatment or removal. A dentist can also help you understand the best way to take care of your teeth during and after radiation therapy to lower your risk of complications.

Chemotherapy is a treatment that uses chemicals to kill cancer cells. Chemotherapeutic agents can be given alone, in combination with other chemotherapeutic agents or in combination with other anticancer treatments. Chemotherapy can increase the effectiveness of radiation therapy, so the two are often combined.

The side effects of chemotherapy depend on the drugs you are receiving. Common side effects include nausea, vomiting, and hair loss. Ask your doctor about the likely side effects of the chemotherapy drugs you will be given.

Targeted drug therapy
Targeted drugs treat oral cancer by changing specific aspects of the cancer cells that fuel their growth.

How much cost

The cost of mouth cancer in India or oral cancer in India ranges from $ 3000 to $ 3800.
The price depends on the type of therapy whether it is laryngectomy or chemotherapy and the stage of the disease.
The patient should spend approximately 5 days in the hospital and 14 days near the hospital.
Tests needed to diagnose varicose cancer, including X-rays, CT scans, MRIs, and PET scans.

Risk factors

Factors that can increase your risk for oral cancer include:
Smoking of all kinds, including cigarettes, cigars, pipes, chewing tobacco and snuff
Heavy drinking
Excessive sun exposure of your lips
A sexually transmitted virus called human papillomavirus (HPV)
A weakened immune system

When to see a doctor

Make an appointment with your doctor if you experience any signs or symptoms that worry you.


Changes in your mouth to a dentist and doctor if they do not improve after 3 weeks. For advanced oral cancer, you will need surgery, radiation therapy, and medication over a period of at least 4 months.