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Lip & Oral Cancer

Disease Information

What You Need to Know About Lip & Oral Cancer

Each year in the United States, more than 21,000 men and 9,000 women are diagnosed with oral cancer. Most are over 60 years old.

The oral cavity includes the following:

  • The front two thirds of the tongue.
  • The gingiva (gums).
  • The buccal mucosa (the lining of the inside of the cheeks).
  • The floor (bottom) of the mouth under the tongue.
  • The hard palate (the roof of the mouth).
  • The retromolar trigone (the small area behind the wisdom teeth).

Cancer that forms in tissues of the oral cavity (the mouth) or the oropharynx (the part of the throat at the back of the mouth).

This includes areas under the tongue

  • Lips
  • Gums and teeth
  • Tongue
  • Lining of your cheeks
  • Salivary glands (glands that make saliva)
  • Floor of your mouth (area under the tongue)

This includes areas of the throat

  • Roof of your mouth (hard palate)
  • Soft palate
  • Uvula
  • Oropharynx
  • Tonsils

Visit the National Cancer Institute where this information and more can be found about Oral Cancer or ask your cancer care team questions about your individual situation.

Lo que usted necesita saber sobre el cáncer oral en español.

Risk Factors

Tobacco and alcohol use can affect the risk of developing lip and oral cavity cancer.

Risk factors for lip and oral cavity cancer include the following:

  • Using tobacco products.
  • Heavy alcohol use.
  • Being exposed to natural sunlight or artificial sunlight (such as from tanning beds) over long periods of time.
  • Being male.
  • Being infected with human papillomavirus (HPV).

Visit the National Cancer Institute where this information and more can be found about Lip and Oral Cancer or ask your cancer care team questions about your individual situation.

Lo que usted necesita saber sobre el cáncer del del labio y la cavidad oral.