Cancer of the oral cavity occurs when cancerous cells grow inside of the mouth and can appear on the tongue, gums, palate, floor of the mouth, inside of the lips or cheeks or in the tonsil area. As with most oral cancers, cancer of the oral cavity is commonly diagnosed because its symptoms are fairly evident to patients, doctors and dentists.
Causes, Symptoms and Risk Factors
Oral cancers are caused primarily by use of tobacco, both tobacco that is smoked and the smokeless variety. Usually, oral cancers appear as a lump or lesion in the mouth and progress to become open sores that bleed and are persistent.
In addition to the use of tobacco, the risks of tongue cancer are:
- Excessive use of alcohol
- Family history
Tests, Procedures and Treatments
A doctor will perform a physical examination, review symptoms with the patient and perform testing for oral cancers that can include:
Treatments for oral cancers can include: