Oral Cancer

Cancer of the mouth affects approximately 3000 men and women in this country every year. It can occur anywhere in the mouth but most commonly affects the tongue, the lining of the mouth underneath the tongue and the lower gum. It is mainly a disease of the elderly with nearly three quarters of all mouth cancers occurring in those aged between 55 & 75 years but it can and does occur in those who are younger than this. 

Many patients have mucosal changes, some of which may be visible but not always, that pre date the onset of the cancer. Routine dental check ups or examination may pick these up an early referal is always to be recommended for specialist review. The changes may present as either white, red or mixed red/white patches. Oral ulcers may also be pre-cancerous or cancerous

The vast majority of mouth cancers are caused by excessive use of tobacco and alcohol. People who smoke more than 20 cigarettes or 5 cigars a day are 6 times more likely than non-smokers to get mouth cancer and those who also drink heavily are 24 times more likely than non-drinkers and non-smokers to get the disease. Pipe smoking, chewing tobacco and chewing betel nut (Pan) can also cause mouth cancer. Cancer of the mouth is uncommon in people who neither drink alcohol nor use tobacco. It is also slightly more common in people whose close relatives have had a cancer of the mouth or throat.

A biopsy is required to confirm the diagnosis. Once the diagnosis is confirmed, further investigations are required to stage the cancer, these may include one or more type of scans (an MRI, CT, Ultrasound or PET scans). Every case is then discussed at a specialist multidisciplinary meeting prior to planning treatment.

Treatment depends on a multitude of factors and may involve surgery (including any reconstructive surgery), radiotherapy and chemotherapy (or more than on of these).

Services Overview

We aim to provide a quality of service of the highest standard with the motto of " Treat as you wish to be treated"


Address: Fylde Coast Hospital, St Walburgas  Road.  Blackpool.  FY3 8BP
Telephone: 07888 675042
Fax: 08712 428250
E-mail: akhtar.pa@omfs.surgery