Oral cancer is a subtype of head and neck cancer.Oral cancer is cancerous
tissue growth located in the oral cavity.It may arise as a primary lesion
originating in any of the oral tissues,by extension from a neighbouring anatomic
structure,such as the nasal cavity.Alternatively, the Oral cancers may originate
in any of the tissues of the mouth,may be of varied histologic types;
teratoma,adenocarcinoma derived from a major or minor salivary gland,
lymphoma from tonsillor other lymphoid tissue,or melanoma from the pigment-
producing cells of the oral mucosa.There are several types of oral cancers,but
around 90% are are sqamous cells carcinoma,originating in the tissues that line
mouth and lips.Oral or mouth cancer most commonly involves the tongue.It may
also occur on the floor of the mouth,cheek lining,gingiva(gums),lips,or
palate(roof of the mouth).Most oral cancers look very similar under the
microscope and are called squamous cell carcinoma.
SKIN LESION, LUMP, OR ULCER THAT DO NOT RESOLVE IN 14 DAYS LOCATED :
• On the tongue, lip, or other mouth areas.
• Usually small
• Most often pale colored, be dark or discolored.
• Early sign may be a white patch or a red patch on the soft tissue of the mouth.
• Usually painless.
• May develop a burning sensation or pain when the tumor is advanced.
• Behind the wisdom tooth.
• Even behind the ear.
• Tongue problems.
• Swallowing difficulty.
• Mouth sores.
Smoking and other tobacco use are associated with about 75% of oral cancer cases, caused
by irritation of the mucous membranes of the mouth from smoke and heat of cigarettes, cigars and
pipes. Tobacco contains over 60 known carcinogens, and the combustion of it ,and by products
from this process, is the primary mode of involvement.Tobacco use in any form by itself ,even more
so in combination with heavy alcohol consumption, continues to be an important risk factor for oral
Use of alcohol and other toxic liquids is another high-risk activity associated with oral
cancer. There is known to be very strong synergistic effect on oral cancer risk when a person is
both a heavy smoker and drinker.the risk is greatly increased compared to a heavy smoker, or a
heavydrinker alone.In the absence of smoking and drinking, lead to significant increase in the
development of oral cancer. The American Dental Association said “the available evidence does not
support a connection between oral cancer and alcohol-containing mouthrinse”.A recent study
suggests that acetaldehyde (a break down product of alcohol) is implicated in oral cancer.
Race/Ethnicity Male Female
All Races 16.1 per 100000 men 6.2 per 100000 women
White 16.5per 100000 men 6.3 per 100000 women
Black 15.4 per 100000 men 5.6 per 100000 women
Asian Islander 11.1 per 100000 men 5.2 per 100000 women
American Indian 10.1 per 100000 men 5.0 per 100000 women
Hispanic 9.1 per 100000 men 4.0 per 100000 women
INCIDENCE RATES BY RACE
Race/Ethnicity MALE FEMALE
All Races 3.8 per 100000 men 1.4 per 100000 women
White 3.6 per 100000 men 1.4 per 100000 women
Black 5.7 per 100000 men 1.4 per 100000 women
Asian Islander 3.0 per 100000 men 1.3 per 100000 women
American Indian 3.5 per 100000 men 1.3 per 100000 women
Hispanic 2.4 per 100000 men 0.7 per 100000 women
DEATH RATES BY RACE
Of all sites in the head and neck, oral cavity lesions should be amenable to early
detection because the mucosa is accessible for viewing by both the patient and general
health care provider. Furthermore, the rich innervation of oral mucosa ensures that even
small lesions are likely to elicit tenderness to pain. Early diagnosis is also facilitated by
the accessibility to biopsy without general anesthesia. Lesions of the oropharynx are
more challenging on both counts. Oral cavity lesions arise in typical smoker-drinkers, but
also with an alarmingly increased frequency along the lateral tongue in young
nonsmokers, making the selection of subjects for screening efforts more problematic.