What Is Oral Cancer?

The most common site for oral cancer in the United States is the tongue. The most common cancer of the oral cavity is squamous cell carcinoma, which arises from the lining of the oral cavity. Other types of cancers of the oral cavity include cancers of the salivary glands such as mucoepidermoid carcinoma and adenoid cystic carcinoma, sarcomas (tumors arising from bone, cartilage, fat, fibrous tissue or muscle), and melanomas.

Tobacco and alcohol use are the major risk factors for most cancers of the head and neck, including the oral cavity. Use of tobacco and alcohol in combination significantly increases this risk. Although the most common use of tobacco in the United States is cigarette smoking, the use of smokeless tobacco, or chew, is associated with oral cancers.

A “new set of patients” is presenting with head and neck cancer, particularly in the tonsils and at the base of the tongue, at a younger age and with no history of smoking or drinking. The culprit is the human papillomavirus or HPV. Learn More

The Mount Sinai Health System excels in treating oral cancer. Our oral cancer specialists function as part of The Tisch Cancer Institute — a multi-disciplinary research and clinical care institution whose membership encompasses all Mount Sinai physicians and researchers whose work involves cancer. Call us today to make an appointment. We care, and we can make a difference.


Contact Us

Ear, Nose and Throat/Head and Neck Services
5 East 98th Street
New York, NY 10029
Tel: 212-241-9410