Where are Oral Cancers Most Commonly Found in the Mouth?

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where are oral cancers most commonly found in the mouth

As per the Canadian Cancer Society, “Oral cancer starts in the cells of the mouth. A cancerous tumor is a group of cancer cells that can grow into and destroy nearby tissue. It can also spread to other parts of the body. The most common place oral cancer spreads to is the lymph nodes in the neck. Oral cancer may also be called oral cavity cancer or mouth cancer.”

Tumors in the mouth can be either be cancerous or non-cancerous in nature. For example, warts and fibromas are not malignant tumors. Leukoplakia and erythroplakia are examples of precancerous conditions.  And the good news is that these conditions can be treated early on to prevent further oral cancer symptoms.

There are Some Common Places Where Oral Cancer can Develop:


Lips are a common area in the mouth for cancerous cells to grow. It mostly affects men. There are two main types of lip cancer, namely squamous cell and basal cell. Some of the symptoms of lip cancer are persistent toothaches and mouth pain, a sore or lump in lips, bleeding and painful lips, change in the voice and swelling of the jaw. There are other oral cancer symptoms as well but in case of lip cancer, these are the most prominent signs and symptoms. 


Tongue cancer forms in the front two-thirds of the tongue. This type of cancer usually develops in the squamous cells. Some of the early signs of tongue cancer include persistent tongue and/or jaw pain, a white or red patch in the tongue, a sore throat or feeling that something is caught up in the throat, and difficulty swallowing or chewing. Studies consider smoking or chewing tobacco to be one of the most common causes for tongue cancer. Other causes include heavy drinking, being affected by the HIV virus, chewing betel, and having a family history of cancer.

Inner Lining of the Cheek

Inner cheek cancer is a type of head and neck cancer. It usually occurs in the thin, flat cells called squamous cells that line the buccal mucosa and other parts of the mouth. In this type of cancer, the cells that make up the inner cheek grow out of control and form lesions or tumors. Surgery is the best form of treatment for this type of cancer.

Other areas of the mouth that get affected by oral cavity cancer are gums, floor of the mouth, hard and soft palate. Have you noticed any of these signs in your mouth? Then reach out to our local dentist near you at the earliest.