SymptomsSigns and symptoms of mouth cancer may include:
• A lip or mouth sore that doesn't heal
• A white or reddish patch on the inside of your mouth
• Loose teeth
• A growth or lump inside your mouth
• Mouth pain
• Ear pain
• Difficult or painful swallowing
CausesMouth cancers form when cells on the lips or in the mouth develop changes (mutations) in their DNA. A cell's DNA contains the instructions that tell a cell what to do. The mutations changes tell the cells to continue growing and dividing when healthy cells would die. The accumulating abnormal mouth cancer cells can form a tumor. With time they may spread inside the mouth and on to other areas of the head and neck or other parts of the body.
Mouth cancers most commonly begin in the flat, thin cells (squamous cells) that line your lips and the inside of your mouth. Most oral cancers are squamous cell carcinomas.
It's not clear what causes the mutations in squamous cells that lead to mouth cancer. But doctors have identified factors that may increase the risk of mouth cancer.
More about Treatment
Mouth cancer refers to cancer that develops in any of the parts that make up the mouth (oral cavity). Mouth cancer can occur on the: • Lips • Gums • Tongue • Inner lining of the cheeks • Roof of the mouth • Floor of the mouth (under the tongue) Cancer that occurs on the inside of the mouth is sometimes called oral cancer or oral cavity cancer. Mouth cancer is one of several types of cancers grouped in a category called head and neck cancers. Mouth cancer and other head and neck cancers are often treated similarly.
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