Buccal Mucosa Cancer: Symptoms, Causes & Cure

Buccal Mucosa Cancer: Symptoms, Cause, and Cure

When it comes to oral health, we often think about cavities and gum disease, but there’s a lesser-known danger lurking within our mouths—buccal mucosa cancer. This rare form of head and neck cancer specifically targets the inner cheek, and it’s essential to shed light on its symptoms, causes, and available treatment options. Let’s explore buccal mucosa cancer and learn how to detect and combat this hidden threat.

Decoding the Different Faces of Buccal Mucosa Cancer

Types of Buccal Mucosa CancerJust like any cancer, buccal mucosa cancer comes in different forms, show different symptoms, each with its unique characteristics:

Squamous cell carcinoma

It is the most prevalent type of carcinoma buccal mucosa, originating in the top layer of the buccal mucosa.


Cancerous cells that develop in the lining of the mouth.

Mucosal melanoma

Similar to skin melanoma, this cancer affects melanocytes in the mouth lining.

Verrucous carcinoma

A slow-growing and highly treatable form of cancer found inside the mouth.

Spotting the Signs and Unveiling the Causes

When it comes to buccal mucosa cancer, early symptoms detection is key to successful treatment. Keeping a vigilant eye on your oral health can help you spot the initial warning signs. Pay attention to any discomfort or abnormalities that persist for two weeks or more, such as painful sores, ulcers, or raised white and red patches. Ongoing bleeding and difficulty in opening your mouth should also raise concerns. These symptoms may or show the presence of buccal mucosa cancer.

What causes buccal mucosa cancer?

Understanding the underlying causes of buccal mucosa cancer empowers you to make informed choices for your oral health. Exposure to harmful substances plays a significant role in the development of this type of cancer. Tobacco, in its various forms including cigarettes, cigars, pipes, and smokeless tobacco, poses a significant risk. Heavy alcohol use, chewing betel nuts, and marijuana consumption are also contributing factors.

Furthermore, poor oral hygiene and an unhealthy diet causes increase in vulnerability to buccal mucosa cancer. It’s important to note that in some cases, the human papilloma virus (HPV) may also be linked to the occurrence of this cancer, although further research is needed to fully understand its role.

Exploring Treatment Options

Exploring Treatment Options for Buccal Mucosa

Is buccal mucosa cancer curable?

Thankfully, early-stage buccal mucosa cancer is highly curable, with treatment primarily focused on surgery performed by a skilled head and neck cancer surgeon.
The main goals of treatment include complete eradication of the cancer, preserving both appearance and essential mouth functions, and preventing its recurrence. The treatment plan depends on the cancer’s extent and depth, and in advanced cases, a combination of surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy may be necessary to ensure the best possible outcome.

Demystifying Survival Rates

Buccal Mucosa Cancer surviving rates

Survival rates offer insights into a patient’s expected lifespan following cancer diagnosis.

What is the survival rate of buccal mucosa cancer?

Different types of buccal mucosa cancer exhibit varying survival rates:


This cancer of the lymphatic system boasts an impressive 90% 5-year survival rate. Treatment usually involves a combination of radiation therapy and chemotherapy, depending on the severity and spread of the disease.

Salivary Gland Cancer

With a 95% survival rate among both men and women, early detection and proper treatment are essential in combating this type of buccal mucosa cancer.


A rarer form of oral cancer, sarcomas present a lower survival rate. The survival rates range from 40% to 60% depending on the patient’s age and the stage of the disease.

Mucosal Melanoma

Although challenging, mucosal melanoma can be effectively treated with early intervention, resulting in a 70% survival rate.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma

This type of oral cancer offers the highest survival rate of 99% and is commonly found on sun-exposed areas such as the face, neck, and skin.

Empowering Through Treatment

Treatment approaches for buccal mucosa cancer vary depending on the stage and extent of the disease. Surgical intervention remains the primary option for early-stage cancer, while more advanced cases may require a combination of surgery and chemotherapy. Surgical removal of smaller tumours minimises incisions, whereas larger tumours may need reconstructive surgery using tissue flaps. Chemotherapy, administered by medical oncologists, plays a vital role in controlling the tumour’s growth and is often used alongside surgery to reduce the risk of recurrence.


Buccal mucosa cancer may be a lesser-known adversary, but knowledge is power when it comes to safeguarding your oral health. By understanding the symptoms, causes, and available treatment options, you can detect this hidden threat early and increase your chances of successful treatment. Stay alert and arrange regular check-ups, and remember that early intervention can be the key to overcoming buccal mucosa cancer and preserving your precious smile.

FAQ’S ( Frequently Asked Questions)

Q1.Is buccal mucosa cancer curable?
A1.The curability of buccal mucosa cancer depends on various factors, including the stage of cancer at diagnosis, the extent of spread, and the individual’s overall health. Early detection and treatment can significantly improve the chances of successful treatment and cure. However, advanced stages of buccal mucosa cancer may have a lower chance of complete cure.

Q2. What causes buccal mucosa cancer?
A2. The exact cause of buccal mucosa cancer is not fully understood. However, several risk factors can increase the likelihood of developing this cancer, including tobacco use (both smoking and smokeless), heavy alcohol consumption, betel nut chewing, poor oral hygiene, and exposure to certain types of human papillomavirus (HPV) infections.

Q3. What is the survival rate of buccal mucosa cancer?
A3. The survival rate for buccal mucosa cancer varies depending on the stage and overall health of the individual. Early-stage cancers have a higher survival rate compared to advanced-stage cancers. It is important to note that survival rates are estimates based on large groups of people and may not reflect an individual’s specific prognosis. It is best to consult with a healthcare professional for personalised information regarding prognosis and treatment options.

Q4. Is mouth cancer 100% curable?
A4. The curability of mouth cancer depends on several factors, including the type of cancer, its stage at diagnosis, and individual characteristics. Early detection and treatment can significantly increase the chances of successful treatment and cure. However, advanced stages of mouth cancer may have a lower chance of complete cure. Treatment options may include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or a combination of these approaches, tailored to the individual’s specific condition and needs.

Share this post
Dr. Vikas Goswami, M.B.B.S. from MAMC, M.D. in Internal Medicine, ECMO, and D.N.B. in Medical Oncology, is a Senior Consultant and experienced Oncologist with 17 years of experience in the field of medicine. He is an excellent speaker and presented his knowledge of Oncology at national & international conferences and workshops. Book an Appointment View Details

Start typing and press Enter to search

Shopping Cart
Call for Appointment