Oral Cancer

Oral cancer includes cancers of the mouth and the back of the throat. Oral cancers develop on the tongue, the tissue lining the mouth and gums, under the tongue, at the base of the tongue, and the area of the throat at the back of the mouth.

Oral cancer accounts for roughly three percent of all cancers diagnosed annually in the United States, or about 49,700 new cases each year.

Oral cancer most often occurs in people over the age of 40 and affects more than twice as many men as women. Most oral cancers are related to tobacco use, alcohol use (or both), or infection by the human papilloma virus (HPV).

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Clinical Trials

Clinical trials are research studies involving people. They seek to answer specific scientific questions to find better ways to prevent, detect, or treat diseases, or to improve care for people with diseases.​​​​​​

Data & Statistics

Approximately 49,700 Americans are diagnosed each year with this largely preventable type of cancer that affects the mouth and/or pharynx. Overall, oral cancer rates have increased approximately 15% from the mid-1970s until the latest National Cancer Institute Survey. During the same period, 5-year survival rates also increased. In both of these measures there are significant disparities in some population groups.