Currently, there is no definition for the term 'mouth cancer'. We have used the term ‘mouth cancer’ to mean cancers arising in the head and neck (excluding brain cancers and skin cancers).
"Cancer can occur in any part of the mouth, tongue, lips, throat, salivary glands, pharynx, larynx, sinus, and other sites located in the head and neck area"
As I have got involved with head and neck cancer patients and see the common treatment modalities used to treat them and the common side effects they suffer and support they need, I feel that 'mouth cancer' patients have much in common. Saliva gland and squamous cell carcinomas can both present in the palate and both result in facial deformity and need for recostruction with a prosthesis. Patients with these rarer cancers are united by their similar concerns.
The Mouth Cancer Foundation represents 'mouth cancer' patients and, through awareness campaigns, helps educate the public of the early signs of these cancers and risk factors through 'Mouth Cancer' awareness events. It helps 'mouth cancer' survivors know that theirs is not a forgotten cancer. In the USA, they already have an Oral, Head & Neck Cancer Awareness Week. While the description ‘Oral, Head and Neck Cancer’ is technically more correct, it is more difficult for the lay person to grasp. As such, the Mouth Cancer Foundation sees no difficulties in talking about the head and neck cancers as 'mouth cancers'.