Squamous cell carcinomas. More than 90% of oral cancers. The earliest form of squamous cell cancer is called carcinoma in situ, meaning that the cancer cells are only in the layer of cells called the epithelium. This is different from invasive squamous cell carcinoma, where the cancer cells have grown into deeper layers of the oral cavity.
Verrucous carcinoma. Less than 5% of all oral cancers. A low-grade or slow growing cancer that rarely spreads to other parts of the body, but it can grow deeply into nearby tissue.
Minor salivary gland carcinomas. Can start in the glands in the lining of the mouth and throat. There are many types of minor salivary gland cancers, including adenoid cystic carcinoma, mucoepidermoid carcinoma, and polymorphous low-grade adenocarcinoma.
Lymphomas. The tonsils and base of the tongue contain immune system tissue, or lymphoid tissue, where lymphomas can start.