Overview

Mouth cancer refers to cancer that develops in any of the parts that make up the mouth. Mouth cancer can occur on the:

  • Lips
  • Gums
  • Tongue
  • Inner lining of the cheeks
  • Roof of the mouth
  • Floor of the mouth

Cancer that occurs on the inside of the mouth is sometimes called oral cancer or oral cavity cancer.

Mouth cancer is one of several types of cancer grouped in a category called head and neck cancers. Mouth cancer and other head and neck cancers are often treated similarly.

Mayo Clinic's approach

Nov. 17, 2015
References
  1. Flint PW, et al. Malignant neoplasms of the oral cavity. In: Cummings Otolaryngology: Head & Neck Surgery. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2015. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Oct. 26, 2015.
  2. Head and neck cancers. Fort Washington, Pa.: National Comprehensive Cancer Network. http://www.nccn.org/professionals/physician_gls/f_guidelines.asp. Accessed Oct. 26, 2015.
  3. What you need to know about oral cancer. National Cancer Institute. http://www.cancer.gov/publications/patient-education/wyntk-oral-cancer. Accessed Oct. 26, 2015.
  4. Lip and oral cavity cancer treatment (PDQ). National Cancer Institute. http://www.cancer.gov/types/head-and-neck/hp/lip-mouth-treatment-pdq. Accessed Oct. 26, 2015.
  5. The oral cancer exam. National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. http://www.nidcr.nih.gov/OralHealth/Topics/OralCancer/TheOralCancerExam.htm. Accessed Oct. 26, 2015.
  6. Cancer-related fatigue. Fort Washington, Pa.: National Comprehensive Cancer Network. http://www.nccn.org/professionals/physician_gls/f_guidelines.asp. Accessed Oct. 26, 2015.
  7. Erbitux (prescribing information). Branchburg, N.J.: Eli Lilly and Company; 2015. http://www.erbitux.com. Accessed Oct. 27, 2015.
  8. AskMayoExpert. Head and neck cancers. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2015.
  9. Cook AJ. Allscripts EPSi. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. March 30, 2016.
  10. Van Abel, KM. (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. June 14, 2016.