Oral Cancer Statistics

Oral Cancer Statistics


It is estimated that approximately 30,000 patients are diagnosed with cancer of the oral cavity and pharynx each year.

The average number of years of life lost due to oral cancer, 16, one more than all cancers in general.

More deaths occur annually from oral cancer than from cervical cancer.

Only half of those diagnosed with oral cancers are still alive after 5 years.

The incidence of oral cancer and the mortality rate due to oral cancers has been almost three times greater in males than females.

African Americans have a slightly higher incidence than Caucasians.

About 75% (figures up to 90%) of oral cancers are attributed to the use of tobacco of all forms.

Alcohol use has also been positively correlated with the incidence of oral cancer.

The relative risk of oral cancer created by combined tobacco and alcohol use is multiplicative and substantially greater than that of either smoking or alcohol use alone.

More than 75% of all oral cancers can be detected by sight or palpation.

Tongue lesions account for approximately one third of all oral cancers.

Oral cancer is considered one of the most preventable of all cancers!

Squamous cell carcinomas account for 90% of the malignant tumors in the oral cavity.

The most common sites for oral cancer are:

  • Lips
  • Buccal Mucosa (lining of the cheek and back of the lips)
  • Floor of the mouth
  • Tongue
  • Palate