Oral tumors can affect various structures in the mouth, such as the mucosa, palate, floor of the mouth, tongue, lips, gums, and bones.
There are various triggers or carcinogenic agents such as tobacco, alcohol, radiation, human papillomavirus, etc.
Cancer occurs when carcinogenic agents act on cells, altering their genetic material, producing a mutation. These damaged cells can divide and multiply excessively in the body. Normally, the body controls the division and growth of cells, but if the balance of cell division and cell death is disturbed, a tumor can form. A tumor can be cancerous (malignant) or non-cancerous (benign).
A cancerous area can spread to another organ different from the one in which it started, by blood or lymphatic routes. This process is called metastasis.