Mouth & Oral Cancer

Signs and Symptoms of Mouth & Oral Cancer

Globally, oral cancer is the sixth most common type of cancer and India contributes to almost one-third of total oral cancer cases. In India, around 80,000 new cases are reported annually.

Oral cavity includes the lips, the front two-thirds of the tongue, the gingiva (gums), the buccal mucosa (lining inside the cheeks and lips), the floor of the mouth, the hard palate (bony top of the mouth), and the small area behind the wisdom teeth. (Retromolar trigone)

Most common symptoms:

Types of Mouth & Oral Cancer

Majority of oral cancers are squamous cell carcinomas.

Screening and Diagnosis of Mouth & Oral Cancer

Always look at  and in your mouth while brushing your teeth.Report any white or red patch or non healing ulcer in your mouth. Consult a dental surgeon annually as part of health check up.

Diagnosis of Oral Cancer

To find the cause of symptoms, a surgical oncologist evaluates a person’s medical history, performs a physical examination, and orders diagnostic tests. The examination and tests conducted may vary depending on the symptoms. Examination of a sample of tissue under the microscope is always necessary to confirm a diagnosis of cancer.

We insist on clinical examination and believe that a “Hand Scan is better than a CAT Scan”

Physical examination may include visual inspection of the oral and nasal cavities, neck, throat, and tongue using a small mirror and/or lights. The surgical oncologist may also feel for lumps in the neck and palpate lips, gums,tongue and cheeks.

Myth: Biopsy or FNAC leads to the spreading of cancer.

A biopsy means removal of a small piece of tissue. A pathologist studies the tissue under a microscope to make a diagnosis. A biopsy is the only sure way to tell whether a person has cancer.

If the diagnosis of cancer is confirmed, we want to know the stage (or extent) of the disease. Staging is a careful attempt to find out whether cancer has spread and if so, to which parts of the body. Knowing the stage of the disease helps the surgical oncologist plan treatment.

Tumor Board/ Multispecialty Clinic Evaluation

Each and every Head & Neck cancer patient is evaluated by a special team of Surgical Oncologists (Head & Neck unit), Medical Oncologists, Radiation Oncologists, Onco-pathologists, and Imaging Specialists. Depending on the age, general condition,profession of patient, type of pathology, and stage of the disease, a custom-made treatment plan is charted out for each and every patient as per International Treatment Guidelines. (NCCN – National Comprehensive Cancer Network).

Treatment of Mouth & Oral Cancer

What do We Offer at RGCI & RC?

Frozen Section

It is a modern technique to ensure the complete removal of cancer during surgery. The main cancer specimen is immediately sent to the laboratory after surgery for assessment by the Frozen section technique. The pathologist quickly freezes the sample from the margins of the specimen in a cryostat and takes a thin slice of the sample from various areas. They freeze the tissue at -15 to -20 degrees centigrade. They then place this under a microscope, analyze the sample, and report within 30 minutes.

Advanced Cancer of cheek excised and reconstruction done with free flap

Cancer of hard palate operated and rehabilitated with obturator

Cancer of tongue operated and reconstructed using free flap

Cancer of lower lip operated and reconstructed using free flap

Cancer of right lower jaw operated and reconstructed using free flap

Causes and Risk Factors of Mouth Oral Cancer

Tobacco-Smoking, Chewing

Gutakha Chewing


Sharp Teeth and Poor Orodental Hygiene

HPV Infections


DO’s after Surgery

DON'Ts after Surgery

When to Contact the Treating Team?

Featured Doctors

Dr. A.K. Dewan


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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.

Sir Chotu Ram Marg, Sector - 5, Rohini Industrial Area, Rohini, New Delhi - 110085, India | +91-11-47022222
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Emergency Services: 24x7 All weekdays

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OPD Timings: 09:00 am to 05:00 pm (All Weekdays except Sunday and Holiday)
Emergency Services: 24x7 All Weekdays

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