Mouth Cancer

20 May, 2021

Cancer developing in any part of the mouth or oral cavity is referred to as mouth cancer. When malignant cells from any part of the mouth grow uncontrollably, cancer develops. It may occur in different parts of the mouth, like gums, tongue, the floor of the mouth, lips, the roof of the mouth, pharynx, sinuses, hard and soft palate, and inner lining of the cheeks.

Mouth cancer or oral cancer can be life-threatening if it is not diagnosed and treated early. Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Institute and Research Centre is one of the busiest centres that provide the best treatment for mouth cancer.

Symptoms Of Mouth Cancer

Let’s look at some common symptoms of mouth cancer to understand what does early stages of the same look like:

  • A feeling that something is present in the back of the throat
  • Weight loss
  • Unexpected bleeding in the mouth
  • Sores on the neck, mouth, or face that do not heal within two weeks and bleed easily
  • Chronic sore throat, change in voice, and hoarseness
  • Ear pain
  • Persistent coughing
  • A change in your teeth
  • Loss of feeling, pain in any part of the mouth, face, or neck, and numbness
  • Developing of velvety red, white, or speckled patches in the mouth
  • Thickenings or swellings, rough and hard spots, eroded areas, and crusts on the gums, lips, and other parts of the mouth

What Causes Mouth Cancer?

Certain risk factors can result in oral cancer, as mentioned below:

  • Consumption of alcohol
  • Smoking cigarettes, pipes, snuffs, and cigars
  • Tobacco
  • A weak immune system due to malnutrition and other reasons
  • Sharp teeth, resulting in tongue or buccal mucosa irritation and chronic trauma
  • Poor dental hygiene
  • Excessive sun exposure results in lips cancer

Mouth Cancer Stages

  • Stage 0

Carcinoma in situ is called stage 0 mouth cancer. When abnormal cells develop in the lining of the oral cavity or lips, it is referred to as stage 0 mouth cancer.

  • Stage 1

When the cancer cells are less than two centimetres in size and have not spread to the lymph nodes, it is called stage 1 mouth cancer.

  • Stage 2

Stage 2 mouth cancer is when the tumour grows from two to four centimetres, and cancer cells have not spread to the lymph nodes.

  • Stage 3

When the tumour grows larger than four centimetres and has affected the lymph nodes, it is a stage 3 mouth cancer.

  • Stage 4 

An advanced level of mouth cancer is stage 4. In stage 4 mouth cancer, the tumour can be of any size. It may affect different parts of the head and neck, like:

  • Jaw and some other organs of the oral cavity
  • Single or multiple lymph nodes
  • Distant body parts far off the mouth, like lungs

Stage 3 and stage 4 mouth cancer are more likely to occur again.

How Is Early-Stage (0, 1 and 2) Mouth Cancer Treated?

The mouth cancer treatment depends upon the stage and location of cancer. Below are some effective treatment options explained.

  • Radiation Therapy

This treatment option kills cancer cells present inside the mouth using high-energy radiation beams, like X-rays.

  • Targeted Drug Therapy

Targeted drugs affect the growth of cancer cells and lead to their death. These drugs contain some proteins of the cancer cells.

  • Surgery

If the tumour is confined, surgeons only remove the tumour. If it spreads in the surrounding areas of the head and neck, the tumour and all affected tissues are removed.

  • Immunotherapy

Immunotherapy is yet another most effective treatment for oral cancer. In this treatment option, a patient’s immune system is used to fight against oral cancer.

  • Chemotherapy 

In chemotherapy, powerful drugs are injected into a patient’s body to kill cancer cells. As cancer cells grow exponentially inside the body, chemotherapy helps kill these fastest-growing cancer cells.


Seeking mouth cancer treatment at its early stages is highly beneficial, as it may turn out into a successful treatment. A delay in diagnosing and treating mouth cancer can cause the spread of a tumour in the surrounding parts. Moreover, it may result in lower survival rates.

Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Institute and Research Centre in New Delhi offers a wide variety of mouth cancer treatment modalities, like biological therapy, chemo-radiotherapy, radiotherapy, surgery, and chemotherapy. In many cases, combining two or even more modalities is used to generate the best outcome.

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Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Institute and Research Centre is today counted amongst Asia’s premier exclusive cancer centres that offer unique advantage of cutting edge technology, put to use by renowned super specialists. This potent combination of man and machine ensures world-class cancer care to not only patients from India, but also from the neighboring SAARC countries and others.

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Emergency Services: 24x7 All Weekdays

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