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Mouth Cancer

Posted on 12/1/2023 by Dr. Frank K. Sioda
Image of a woman touching her cheek that could have mouth cancer. Mouth cancer is also known as oral cancer. This type of cancer develops on the surface of the tongue, mouth, gums, or lips. These tumors can also occur in the salivary glands, pharynx, and tonsils, though that is less common. It is one of several types of cancers that are grouped into a category called head and neck cancers. Head and neck cancer are treated similarly to mouth cancer.


The symptoms include white and red patches on the mouth or tongue, ulcers, and a lump in the mouth. If these symptoms do not heal within 3 weeks, speak to your dentist, especially if you are a heavy smoker or drinker. Other symptoms include loose teeth, mouth pain, ear pain, and difficulty in swallowing.


Mouth cancers form in the mouth when cells on the lips and mouth develop changes in their DNA. The DNA of a cell has instructions that tell the cell what to do. Incorrection instructions (mutation changes) tell the cells to continue growing and dividing while healthy cells eventually die. When any abnormal cells accumulate, they can form a tumor in the mouth.

With time, the cells spread inside the mouth and possibly other areas of the head and neck. Mouth cancers begin in the squamous cells that line the lips inside the mouth. Most mouth cancers are squamous cell carcinomas. The causes of the mutations are not clear, but doctors have identified the factors that may encourage its growth.

Risk Factors

People who use tobacco of any kind, either by smoking cigars, chewing, or snuffing, are susceptible to the disease. Moreover, heavy alcohol drinkers and people who expose themselves to excess sunlight, especially to the lips, are at risk. A weak immune system and human papillomavirus (HPV) also increase the chances of the occurrence of mouth cancer. For treatment purposes and any other information regarding mouth cancer, call us today!
Talk to one of our caring patient coordinators today to schedule an appointment.
Dr. Frank Sioda
18676 Willamette Dr. Suite 202
West Linn, OR 97068-1718

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