Oral cancer (mouth cancer) is the most common form of head and neck cancer. It typically affects people age 60 and older. Oral cancer affects your lips and the first parts of your tongue, mouth roof and floor. It also affects your oropharynx - the last part of your tongue and roof of your mouth, your tonsils and the sides and back of your throat.
What is oral cancer?
Oral cancer (mouth cancer) is the broad term for cancer that affects the inside of your mouth. Oral cancer can look like a common problem with your lips or in your mouth, like white patches or sores that bleed. The difference between a common problem and potential cancer is these changes donít go away. Left untreated, oral cancer can spread throughout your mouth and throat to other areas of your head and neck. Approximately 63% of people with oral cavity cancer are alive five years after diagnosis.
What parts of my body are in my oral cavity?
Your oral cavity includes:
- Your lips.
- Your gums.
- The lining of the inside of your cheeks.
- The first two-thirds of your tongue.
- The first part of the roof of your mouth.
- The area right behind your wisdom teeth.