Oral Cancer

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The prevalence of oral cancers increases with age.

Consider the following:

  • Ninety percent of oral cancers are squamous cell carcinomas.
  • Sixty¬†percent of oral carcinomas are advanced by the time they are detected, and about 1% of patients will have another cancer in a nearby area such as the larynx, esophagus, or lungs.
  • Tobacco use and heavy alcohol consumption are the two principal risk factors and are responsible for 75% of oral carcinomas.
  • There is a strong etiologic association between HPV and oropharyngeal cancers.
  • HPV positive cancers are more frequent in white men, younger populations (52-56 years), and people who do not use tobacco or alcohol.
  • The overall five-year survival rate for oral cancer is 50-55%

Clinical Examples of Cancer

Ellen Eisenberg, DMD
Ellen Eisenberg, DMD
Robert Henry, DMD, MPH
Robert Henry, DMD, MPH
Ellen Eisenberg, DMD
Ellen Eisenberg, DMD


Smith RA, Cokkinides V, von Eschenbach AC, Levin B, Cohen C, Runowicz CD, et al. American Cancer Society guidelines for the early detection of cancer. Ca: a Cancer Journal for Clinicians. 2002;52(1):8-22.

Cleveland JL, Junger ML, Saraiya M, et al. The connection between human papillomavirus and oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinomas in the United States: implications for dentistry. JADA. 2011; 142(8):915-24.

Villa A, Hanna GJ. Human papillomavirus and oropharyngeal cancer. Curr Probl Cancer. 2018; 42(5):466-475.