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disease characterized by the growth of cancerous cells in the mouth, including the lips. Oral cancer is often associated with cancers of the cavity located behind the tonsils and the back of the throat (oropharyngeal cancer). Most cases originate from the flattened cells that make up the lining of the oral cavity (squamous cell carcinomas). Oral cancers can spread into the jaw and may occur simultaneously with cancers of the larynx, esophagus, or lungs.