About Mouth Cancer 

Mouth cancer begins in the mouth and is most often diagnosed by a dentist during a routine oral examination. Oral or mouth cancer can develop anywhere in the mouth– lips, tongue, inner side of the cheeks, the floor of the mouth, palate, gums, or the oropharynx. 


The symptoms of oral cancer depend upon the cancer’s location, but the most common ones include:


  • An ulcer, often painful that does not heal for several weeks
  • A persistent lump or growth in the mouth or neck
  • Loosening of teeth 
  • Non-healing sockets after extraction
  • Reddish-white patches on the lining of the mouth or tongue
  • Changes in speech (lisp)


Mouth cancer can be of different types depending upon the type of cells where it begins. Squamous cell carcinoma is the most common type of mouth cancer, which starts in the cells that line the mouth. Other types of mouth cancer are adenocarcinoma, sarcoma, malignant melanoma of the oral cavity and lymphoma.


The treatment for your mouth cancer is decided by a multidisciplinary team of specialists, including an oral surgeon.

When is Surgery Performed for Mouth Cancer?

Your mouth cancer treatment depends upon the type of cancer, size and location, cancer stage, and overall health.


Surgery is usually the primary treatment for mouth cancer. Surgery aims to remove any affected cancer tissues while minimising damage to the rest of your mouth. When the cancer is advanced, the affected structure of the mouth, like the jaws or tongue, may also need to be removed during the surgery.


If mouth cancer is diagnosed early, surgery has a high chance of curing cancer with minimal risk of it returning. Infact, surgery is the only treatment required for early-stage cancers. If lymph nodes in the neck are affected, the surgeon may also remove them during surgery.


The type and extent of your mouth cancer surgery depend upon the stage and grade of your cancer. The oral surgeon will do all they can to minimise changes to your facial appearance, speech or swallowing.


Who is an Ideal Candidate for Mouth Cancer Surgery?

People with early-stage mouth and oropharyngeal cancer that has not spread to other organs are ideal candidates for mouth cancer surgery. However, surgery may also be done in advanced stages along with other treatments to relieve symptoms, stop cancer spread, and prolong life.

Mouth Cancer Surgery Cost in the UK

The cost of mouth cancer surgery in the UK is affordable across different cities. The surgery may be more affordable if your insurance covers oral cancer treatment. Your surgery cost will depend upon the stage of your cancer, the extent of surgery, medications, duration of hospital stay and any other additional procedures you require after the surgery. Your doctor will give you an estimate of your mouth cancer treatment cost, including that of the surgery, to help you decide the best way forward.

Other Treatments for Mouth Cancer

Though surgery is a mainstay for mouth cancers, other treatments may be used before or after surgery:


Radiotherapy may be given in early-stage mouth cancers or after surgery to reduce recurrence risk. It may also be used to treat cancer that has relapsed. Radiotherapy may be used in this case if there are signs of cancer in the lymph nodes. This treatment may cause side effects that usually resolve after completion. 


Chemotherapy, which uses strong cytotoxic drugs, may be used to treat mouth cancer in the following scenarios:

  • Before surgery or radiation therapy to shrink the tumour, making it easier to remove
  • Along with radiation therapy to make the cancer cells more sensitive to radiation
  • To treat advanced cases of mouth cancer that have spread
  • To treat mouth cancer that has returned


In some individuals with mouth cancer, targeted drug therapy using Cetuximab may be used to stop the cancer cells from growing and multiplying. This drug makes the cancer cells more sensitive to radiation therapy.


Talk to Us

Taking treatment-related decisions for your cancer can be confusing and overwhelming. Ask your doctor for a second opinion if you wish to have more clarity on your condition. If you need help seeking a priority second opinion with some of the best oral surgeons in the UK, talk to us at Klarity today!




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