Noncancerous (benign) growths, precancerous (dysplastic) changes, and cancerous (malignant) growths can originate in any type of tissue in and around the mouth, including bone, muscle, and nerve. Most commonly, growths form on the lips, the sides of the tongue, the floor of the mouth, and the back portion of the roof of the mouth (soft palate). Among people who use chewing tobacco and snuff, the insides of the cheeks and lips are common sites of cancer. Rarely, cancers found in the mouth region have spread there from other parts of the body, such as the lungs, breast, or prostate.
Last full review/revision November 2006 by Robert B. Cohen, DMD