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Oral cancer or mouth cancer a type of head and neck cancer is any cancerous tissue growth located in the oral cavity.90% of oral cancers are squamous cell carcinomas.Oral cancers commonly involves the tongue,floor of mouth ,buccal mucosa,gingiva,lips and palate.

Signs and Symptoms

  • Skin lesions,ulcers that donot resolve in 14 days located in the oral cavity.
  • Early signs may be white patch(leukoplakia) or a red patch(erythroplakia) on the soft tissues of the mouth.
  • Usually painless initially
  • Pain and paraesthesia are late symptoms


  • Chewing betel,paan and areca is known to be strong risk factor
  • 75% of oral cancers are due to tobacco use and excessive alcohol consumption
  • Oncogenes are activated as a result of mutation of the DNA.
  • Other factors include poor oral hygiene,irritation by ill fitting dentures,poor nutrition and chronic infections.
  • Infection¬†¬† with Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) TYPE 16 is a known risk factor.


  • History and physical examination
  • Tissue Biopsy
  • CT and MRI scan


  • Surgical excision(removal) of the tumour.
  • Radiation therapy with chemotherapy used as a definitive radical treatment if tumour is inoperable
  • Reconstructive surgery may be required to give an acceptable cosmetic and functional result.
  • Biological agents such as Cetuximab have recently been shown to be effective in the treatment of squamous cell head and neck cancer.

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