Oral and Oropharyngeal Cancer

You will find some basic information about these diseases and the parts of the body they may affect. This is the first page of Cancer.Net’s Guide to Oral and Oropharyngeal Cancer. Use the menu to see other pages. Think of that menu as a roadmap for this complete guide.

Cancer begins when healthy cells change and grow out of control, forming a mass called a tumor. A tumor can be cancerous or benign. A cancerous tumor is malignant, meaning it can grow and spread to other parts of the body. A benign tumor means the tumor can grow but will not spread.

Cancer of the oral cavity and cancer of the oropharynx are 2 of the most common types of cancer that develop in the head and neck region, a grouping called head and neck cancer. The oral cavity and oropharynx, along with other parts of the head and neck, give us the ability to chew, swallow, breathe, and talk.

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