Mouth (Oral Cavity) Cancer

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What Is Mouth (Oral Cavity) Cancer?

Lip and oral cavity cancer — a type of head and neck cancer — is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the lips or mouth. Tobacco and alcohol use can affect the risk of lip and oral cavity cancer. Signs of lip and oral cavity cancer include a sore or lump on the lips or in the mouth. Most lip and oral cavity cancers start in squamous cells, the thin, flat cells that line the lips and oral cavity. These are called squamous cell carcinomas. Cancer cells may spread into deeper tissue as the cancer grows. Squamous cell carcinoma usually develops in areas of leukoplakia (white patches of cells that do not rub off).

Learn about lip and oral cavity cancer, and find information on how our team of experts support and care for people with lip and oral cavity cancer before, during, and after treatment.

Expert Care and Treatment for Head and Neck Cancers

The Head and Neck Oncology program at Dana-Farber Brigham Cancer Center is dedicated exclusively to treating patients with head and neck cancers, which include cancers of the throat, larynx, nose, sinuses, and mouth. Our team of specialists will work with you to create a treatment plan tailored to your type of cancer, as well as to your lifestyle and personal needs, to achieve the best possible outcome.

Head and Neck Treatment Center

The following information is from the National Cancer Institute (NCI).

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