Important Facts about Oral Cancer Everyone Should Know!

Important facts everyone should know

  • The primary cause of oral cancer is smoking.
  • 30,000 cases are diagnosed in the US each year.
  • About 9,000 die from oral cancer per year.
  • 95% occur among people over 40 years old.
  • Average age is 60 years old.
  • 50% survival rate
  • 1 person dies per hour in the U.S. alone from oral cancer.
  • Oral cancer represents approximately 4% of all cancers and 2% of all cancer deaths in the US.

According to the CDC, over 25,000 to 30,000 new cases of oral and pharyngeal cancer is diagnosed and over 8,000 deaths occur due to oral cancer. It has been found to be more common in African American males. There is only a fifty percent (50%) survival rate and the methods used to treat oral cancers have been quite expensive and do have a disfiguring result.

Factors that have found to cause an increase in oral cancers are smoking, drinking, and smokeless tobacco. Smoking and alcohol consumption together greatly increase the risk factors.

Factors that increase survival rate – Early detection is the key.

Rate of Oral Cancers- Approximately 70-80% of oral cancers are caused by smoking.

Average Age – 95% of oral cancers occur in people over forty.

Signs and Symptoms

  • Difficulty in chewing or swallowing food.
  • A thickening, lumpy feeling in mouth, throat, or tongue.
  • Any red or white lesions that stay for long periods of time.
  • Unhealing sores.
  • Sores that tend to bleed easily.


The major thing for each patient to remember with all cancers, especially oral cancer, is early detection. Most early signs are painless and can only be found by a trained specialist such as your dentist. Regular check-ups and oral cancer screenings reduce the risks of severe problems.

Call J.C. Duncan DDS FAGD to schedule your annual screening. Early prevention is the key.


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