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Oral Cancer

Benign Oral Tumors

Many forms of benign (noncancerous) tumors can appear in the oral cavity or oropharynx (in addition to other sites in/on the body), including:

  • Condyloma acuminatum (also known as genital warts) A small, moist, pink or red growth that grows alone or in cauliflower-like clusters
  • Eosinophilic granuloma A benign tumor which most often affects children and adolescents and is usually found in a bone or the lungs
  • Fibroma A benign tumor consisting of fibrous connective tissues
  • Keratoacanthoma A flesh-colored, fast-growing bump on the skin with a keratin plug in the center (keratin, the main component of the external layer of skin, hair, and nails, is a tough substance)
  • Leiomyoma A tumor of the smooth muscle, often found in the esophagus, small intestine, uterus, or stomach
  • Lipoma A tumor made up of mature fat cells
  • Neurofibroma A fibrous tumor consisting of nerve tissue
  • Odontogenic tumors Tumors in the jaw that start in the tooth-forming tissues
  • Osteochondroma A tumor made up of bone and cartilage
  • Papilloma A tumor that resembles a wart, growing on the epithelium (the cells that form the skin and mucous membranes)
  • Pyogenic granuloma A small, round bump that often has an ulcerated surface
  • Rhabdomyoma A striated-muscle tumor that may appear on the tongue, pharynx, uterus, vagina, or heart
  • Schwannoma A single tumor that grows in the neurilemma (Schwann's sheath) of nerves
  • verruciform xanthoma Wart-shaped tumors


Some benign tumors disappear on their own. Others may have to be removed surgically. Most benign tumors do not recur (come back). Always consult your physician for a diagnosis.

Locations for Oral Cancer