Descripción general

El cáncer en la base de la boca es aquel que se origina en el tejido ubicado debajo de la lengua.

El cáncer en la base de la boca generalmente comienza en las células planas y delgadas que revisten el interior de la boca (células escamosas). Los cambios en el aspecto y la sensación al tacto de la base de la boca, como un bulto o una llaga que no cicatriza, generalmente son los primeros signos de cáncer en la base de la boca.

Los tratamientos para este tipo de cáncer comprenden la cirugía, la radioterapia y la quimioterapia.


Signs and symptoms of floor of the mouth cancer can include:

  • Mouth pain
  • Sores in your mouth that won't heal
  • Loose teeth
  • Pain when you swallow
  • Weight loss
  • Ear pain
  • Swelling in your neck that may hurt
  • White patches in your mouth that won't go away

When to see a doctor

Talk to your doctor or dentist about any persistent signs and symptoms that worry you.


Floor of the mouth cancer forms when a genetic mutation turns normal, healthy cells into abnormal cells. Healthy cells grow and multiply at a set rate, eventually dying at a set time. Abnormal cells grow and multiply out of control, and they don't die. The accumulating abnormal cells form a mass (tumor). Cancer cells invade nearby tissues and can separate from an initial tumor to spread (metastasize) to other parts of the body.

Factores de riesgo

Things that may increase the rison of floor of the mouth cancer include:

  • Using tobacco
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Being infected with human papillomavirus (HPV)
  • Taking medications that suppress your immune system

If you use tobacco and drink alcohol, the risk is even higher.


Ways to reduce your risk of floor of the mouth cancer include:

  • Don't use tobacco. If you don't use tobacco, don't start. If you currently use tobacco of any kind, talk with your doctor about strategies to help you quit.
  • Limit alcohol if you choose to drink. If you choose to drink alcohol, do so in moderation. For healthy adults, that means up to one drink a day for women and up to two drinks a day for men.
  • Get regular dental care. During your appointment, your dentist will check your mouth for signs of cancer and precancerous changes.
  • Consider the HPV vaccine. Receiving a vaccination to prevent HPV infection may reduce your risk of HPV-related cancers, such as mouth cancer. Ask your doctor whether an HPV vaccine is appropriate for you.