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How Long Can Someone Live With Untreated Mouth Cancer?

Mouth cancer or oral cancer occur in any part of the oral cavity, like the lips, two-thirds of the tongue, the inner lining of the cheeks, gums, hard palate, soft palate, pharynx, and sinuses. This type of cancer is grouped into head and neck type cancers. Oral can be perilous if it is not diagnosed and treated at the early stages. When cancer cells spread to the neck’s lymph nodes, oral cancer is discovered.

Symptoms Of Oral Cancer

Here are some most common symptoms of mouth cancer:

  1. Lumps or bumps, rough spots, eroded areas, swellings and thickening on gums, lips, and other parts of the oral cavity.
  2. Bleeding from the mouth.
  3. Ear pain.
  4. Excessive weight loss.
  5. Sores on the neck, mouth, or face that do not heal within two weeks and bleed easily.
  6. Change in voice, hoarseness, and extremely sore throat.
  7. Difficulty in speaking, moving the tongue or jaw, chewing, or swallowing.
  8. The occurrence of velvety red, white, or red and white patches inside the mouth.
  9. Trouble wearing dentures.

If you experience any of the above symptoms, you should immediately consult your dentist or any doctor. Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Institute and Research Centre is one of the best centres that provide effective treatment for mouth cancer.

Risk Factors For Developing Mouth Cancer

The risk of developing oral cancers in men is twice as much as in women. However, men whose age is above 50 are at the greatest risk of developing oral cancers. Some common risk factors for mouth cancer include:

  • People who smoke are six times at a greater risk of developing oral cancers than those who don’t smoke. Therefore, cigarettes or cigars are the most common causes of mouth cancers.
  • Alcohol consumers are again six times at risk of developing mouth cancers than non-drinkers.
  • People who use chewing tobacco, snuff, or dips are 50 times more likely to develop mouth cancers, like cheek cancer, gum cancer, and cancer inside the lining of the lips.
  • Extreme sun exposure is also one of the common risk factors.
  • Human Papillomavirus (HPV) strains are risk factors for Oropharyngeal Squamous Cell Carcinoma.

Stages Of Mouth Cancer

Mouth cancer treatment is essential at its early stages. The earlier the mouth cancer is diagnosed and treated, the higher the survival rates after the treatment. There are four stages of oral cancers, as explained below:

  • Stage 1

In Stage 1, the tumour has not spread to the lymph nodes, and the tumour size is less than or equal to two centimetres.

  • Stage 2

When the tumour grows between two and four centimetres but has spread to the lymph nodes, it is Stage 2 oral cancer.

  • Stage 3

In Stage 3, the tumour spreads to one of the lymph nodes, and the size of the tumour grows larger than four centimetres.

  • Stage 4

When the tumour develops of any larger size and gets spread to the lymph nodes and other surrounding organs, the cancer is of Stage 4.

The Outlook For People With Untreated Oral Cancers

The survival rate of people with untreated mouth cancer is extremely poor. Moreover, the survival rate depends on specific factors, like the cancer stage, cancer location, and the patient’s age. The survival rate among people with early-stage untreated mouth cancer is around 30% for five years, whereas the rate gets reduced to 12% for people with Stage 4 untreated mouth cancer.

Mouth Cancer Treatment

The treatment for oral cancer is provided depending upon the location, stage, and type of cancer.

  1. Surgery

If the mouth cancer is in the early stages, doctors prefer surgery to remove the tumour so that it does not spread to other parts.

  1. Chemotherapy

In chemotherapy, drugs are provided either orally or via an intravenous (IV) line to kill the cancer cells.

  1. Radiation Therapy

The radiation beams are concentrated on the tumour once or twice a day for two to eight weeks.

Radiation therapy and chemotherapy are targeted at higher stages of cancer.

  1. Targeted Therapy

In this therapy, drugs are provided to bind to the cancer cells’ specific proteins and obstruct their growth.



Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Institute & Research Centre (RGCIRC) is Asia’s most popular and non-profit centre that provides top-notch treatment for cancers. It is among the top 10 Best Oncology Hospitals in India.

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