Found in the mouth area, oral cavity cancer includes many of the structures we can see in our mouths. These are the structures that make up the oral cavity:
- Front two-thirds of the tongue (all sides)
- Buccal muscosa (lip and cheek lining)
- Floor of the mouth
- Hard palate (top of the mouth)
- Area behind the wisdom teeth
A variety of factors from lifestyle choices to genetics are risk factors of oral cavity cancer. Patients who find irregular signs or symptoms of oral cavity cancer should seek screening and diagnosis from a doctor immediately. Not all oral tumors are cancerous. Many times the tumors are benign or precancerous. Doctors can treat these conditions to prevent cancer.
When the condition is cancerous, it usually comes in two forms:
- Leukoplakia (whitish patch develops in the mouth/throat)
- Erythroplakia (red, raised patch inside the mouth)
More than 90 percent of oral cavity cancer cases diagnosed are squamous cell carincoma, which originates in leukoplakia patches in the lining of the oral cavity (the squamous cell layer). The cancer can invade other areas of the mouth as it becomes more severe.
Specialists at Florida Hospital Cancer Institute treat patients with oral cavity cancer using the most advanced technology and diagnostic equipment available. We provide access to top oncologists, procedures and expertise.
As with most cancers, early detection is the key to successfully treating oral cavity cancer.