Mouth Cancer News

Cancer of the mouth, also called oral cancer, almost always starts in the surface cells, whether on the tongue, the lips or inside the mouth. These cancers in surface tissues are known as squamous cell carcinomas.

Oral cancer is not a particularly common cancer, but it does have a reputation for being deadly. Most of the time, the high death rate is attributable to the oral cancer having been detected and treated late in its development.

Causes and Symptoms

Many of the risk factors for mouth cancer are preventable, mainly by eliminating them from your lifestyle. For example, tobacco use is one of the biggest risks for mouth cancer, whether it’s from smoking or from chewing smokeless tobacco. Alcohol use, sun exposure on the lips, not eating enough fruits and vegetables or an HPV infection of the mouth and throat are other risk factors for oral cancer.

The first warning signs of oral cancer are the presence of bleeding, sores or patches inside the mouth. Red patches, white patches or a mixture of red and white patches all have the potential to become malignant tumors. Numbness in the mouth, difficulty swallowing, loose teeth and a lump on the neck are other possible symptoms of mouth cancer.

Treatment of Mouth Cancer

If oral cancer is detected early enough, minor surgery and radiation therapy are the normal treatments. As the cancer progresses, more progressive surgery, targeted therapy and a combination of radiation therapy and chemotherapy may be needed. Depending on how much mouth tissue needs to be removed, some form of facial reconstruction surgery and therapy with a speech-language pathologist may be needed to restore full function after treatment for oral cancer.

SOURCES: Oral Cancer Foundation; U.S. National Cancer Institute

Date Posted
Article Title
11/10/2017
10/20/2017
Oral Sex Plus Smoking a Cancer Danger for Men

Risk of head and neck tumors tied to HPV infection jumps to 15 percent for this group, study finds

1/19/2017
Nearly Half of U.S. Men Infected With HPV, Study Finds

Although a vaccine is available, too few are getting it when young

4/13/2016
Head and Neck Cancers May Be Linked to Hepatitis C

Researcher sees need for improved screening, treatment

3/1/2016
Is Type 1 Diabetes Linked to Raised Risk of Certain Cancers?

Study suggests, but doesn't prove, that odds increase for some types of tumors, but drop for others

10/22/2015
HPV-Linked Throat Cancer Responds to Reduced Chemo, Radiation: Study

Lower doses also lower unwanted side effects, doctors report

8/19/2015
One or Two Drinks a Day Might Boost Cancer Risk: Study

Limit alcohol consumption, especially if you've ever smoked, experts say

7/2/2015
Americans' Risk of Dying From Cancer Is Falling, CDC Finds

But, due to aging population, actual number of cancer deaths is rising

6/24/2015
Blood, Saliva Tests May Spot Head and Neck Cancers Early

Study shows potential for noninvasive tumor detection

5/13/2015
HPV Vaccination for Girls May Help Prevent Cancers in Males

But, while they remain at risk of infection, immunizing boys may not be cost-effective, study says

3/30/2015
Report Shows Progress in America's War on Cancer

Small, but steady declines in deaths seen over past decade

3/19/2015
Cancer Patients Who Smoke, Drink May Face Longer Feeding Tube Use

But it's not clear from study if dropping these habits would shorten the time people need outside nutrition

1/20/2015
Therapy Dogs Help Cancer Patients Cope With Tough Treatments

'I would've stopped the treatment, but I wanted to come see the dog'

1/9/2015
Oral HPV Infection Lasts Longer in Older Men, Study Finds

Potentially cancer-causing infection appears to linger in males over 45

12/2/2014
Antacids May Improve Head and Neck Cancer Survival

Reason for benefit unclear, more research is needed, study author says

11/12/2014
Study Shows Men Can Get Oral HPV Infection From Women

Virus could put them at raised risk for throat cancers, researchers say

10/7/2014
Tobacco Tied to Higher Risk of Oral HPV Infection, Study Finds

Researchers say smoking and 'chew' raised odds for the virus, which is linked to mouth, throat cancer

7/25/2014
Anal, Throat Cancers on the Rise Among Young Adults, Study Finds

HPV is the main culprit, but vaccination can reduce the risk, experts say

6/5/2014
No Drop in Smokeless Tobacco Use Among U.S. Workers: CDC

Mining, construction fields hotbeds for products like snuff, survey finds

4/29/2014
HPV-Linked Oral Cancers May Not Be 'Contagious'

Kissing doesn't seem to raise rate of viral infection between committed partners, study finds

3/20/2014
HPV-Linked Throat Cancer May Have Telltale First Symptoms

Signs of potential trouble could be different in people without the virus, study suggests

2/20/2014
Head, Throat Cancer Survival May Be Longer if Tumor Caused by HPV: Study

Patients with recurrent disease seem to 'do better' if cancer is tied to the virus, researcher says

2/7/2014
Obesity May Raise Death Risk From Tongue Cancer

Small study compared outcomes in patients three years after surgery for early disease

12/26/2013
Surgery With Follow-Up Radiation Best for Tongue Cancer: Study

Patients who started with chemotherapy had worse response, researchers say

11/25/2013
Why Many U.S. Preteens Aren't Getting the HPV Shot

Review found cost, fear of kids becoming sexually active deters some parents

9/26/2013
Researchers Tie Increased Throat Cancer Cases to HPV Infection

More whites develop cancers linked to oral sex, but blacks have worse survival rates, study finds

9/12/2013
Tooth Cavities Linked to Lower Risk of Head, Neck Cancer in Study

Bacteria involved in cavity formation may have some cancer-protective effect, researcher says, but skeptics aren't sure

9/4/2013
More Evidence Backs Routine CT Scans for Early Lung Cancer Detection

Yearly tests picked up malignant tumors sooner than X-rays, study found

7/25/2013
Family History of Cancer May Raise Risk for Other Types of Tumors

Large European study looked at people with close relatives who'd been affected

7/23/2013
Single Men Show Higher Risk of Cancer-Linked Oral HPV

But overall risk is low, and virus usually clears within a year, study found

7/19/2013
HPV Vaccine Might Shield Women Against Throat Cancer: Study

Vaccination already recommended for boys and girls to guard against sexually transmitted infections

4/11/2013
Primary Care Docs Shouldn't Screen All Patients for Oral Cancer: Experts

Too little evidence that it helps adults without symptoms, U.S. Preventive Services Task Force says

4/5/2013
'Wake-Up' Cigarette May Raise Risk for Lung, Mouth Cancers

Highest levels of cancer-linked substance found in blood of those who light up first thing in morning

4/4/2013
Common Asphalt Sealant May Raise Cancer Risks

Small study looked at coal-tar sealcoat and exposure to 'PAH' chemical compound

2/14/2013
Alcohol Blamed for 1 in Every 30 Cancer Deaths: Study

Research suggests that even a little drinking can raise odds for malignancy

1/25/2013
Quitting Smoking Before Cancer Surgery Best, Study Finds

Experts urge stopping at time of diagnosis, but quitting any time is healthy

12/11/2012
Coffee May Lower Risk of Death From Mouth Cancer: Study

Drinking more than 4 cups per day also lowered odds of dying from a type of throat cancer

10/9/2012
New Gene Test Predicts Whose Mouth Lesions Might Be Cancerous

Developer says it eventually may allow earlier detection, treatment

8/22/2012
Scientists ID Cancer-Causing Agent in Smokeless Tobacco

Study rats received equivalent of daily half-tin of ingredient over 30 years

8/6/2012
Blood Pressure Drugs Linked to Lip Cancer in Study

But risk is extremely small and not reason to change meds, expert says

7/25/2012
High-Tech CT Scan May Get People With Chest Pain Home Faster

But benefit for low-risk patients isn't clear as test increases cost and radiation exposure

4/7/2012
Dentists Play Key Role in Detecting Oral Cancer

Ask for screening as part of your general checkup, experts say

4/4/2012
HPV-Related Head, Neck Cancers on the Rise

However, incidence decreased for younger blacks, analysis finds

2/13/2012
Health Tip: Chewing Tobacco Harms Oral Health

Here are some examples of what can go wrong

2/1/2012
Pediatricians' Group Recommends HPV Vaccine for Boys

Immunization schedules for meningitis, flu also updated

1/26/2012
Oral HPV Infection Strikes Men More Than Women: Study

Sex, smoking associated with raised risk of transmission, researchers report

1/25/2012
Women Can Take Steps to Prevent Cervical Cancer

Regular Pap tests, HPV vaccine go a long way in warding off the disease, experts say

1/16/2012
Many Head and Neck Cancer Survivors Face Eating Problems

Poor throat function, depression and pain are common, study finds

12/7/2011
Active Surveillance May Benefit Men With Low-Risk Prostate Cancer

But report says more needs to be known about the long-term outcome of this approach

11/21/2011
Fewer Dying in U.S. From Throat, Mouth Cancer, Study Finds

Death rates improved most for patients with more than 12 years' education