Backgrounder - Oral Cancer
April 5, 2011
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Most oral cancers are located on the sides of the tongue, floor of the mouth and lips. Oral cancer starts in the cells of the mouth. Normally these cells are quite resistant to damage, but repeated injury from smoking, alcohol or even friction may cause sores or painful areas where cancer can start.
What is oral cancer?
Oral cancer refers to all cancers of the oral cavity, which includes the following:
- gums (gingiva);
- lining inside the lips and cheeks (labial mucosa and buccal mucosa);
- floor of the mouth;
- roof of the mouth (palate); and
- the area behind the wisdom teeth.
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