What You Need To Know About™ Oral Cancer

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This booklet is about oral cancer. Oral cancer can develop in any part of the oral cavity (the mouth and lips) or the oropharynx (the part of the throat at the back of the mouth).

The booklets in the What You Need To Know About™ Cancer series will be retired on June 1, 2018. You can find accurate and up-to-date information about over 100 cancer types in the PDQ® cancer treatment information summaries for patients.

NCI’s Contact Center can help you find information about many types of cancer. Reach our information specialists by phone, chat, or email.

Learning about medical care for your cancer can help you take an active part in making choices about your care. This booklet covers:

  • The anatomy of the mouth and throat
  • Treatments for oral cancer, including taking part in cancer treatment research studies
  • Eating problems you might have and ways to manage them
  • Reconstruction and rehabilitation you may need once you’ve finished treatment

This booklet has lists of questions that may help you talk with your doctor. Many people find it helpful to take a list of questions to a doctor visit.

The information in this booklet was last updated in July 2009.