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Statistics About Oral Cancer

As the following statistics show, oral cancer is a serious health threat. Be sure to talk with your dentist about regular screenings.

  • More than 41,000 Americans will likely be diagnosed with oral cancer for the first time in 2010.

  • Oral cancer will cause about 7,900 deaths in 2013.

  • On average, 60 percent of those with the disease will live more than five years.

  • Oral cancer affects about two times as many men as women.

  • Smokers are six times as likely to develop oral cancer as nonsmokers. By quitting the habit, smokers can cut their risk in half in just five years. After 10 years, former smokers have the same risk as people who never used tobacco.

  • Between 75 percent and 80 percent of people with oral cancer frequently drink alcohol.

The number of people with oral cancer increases after age 35. Half of all oral cancer cases occur in people older than age 68.

“SEER Stat Fact Sheet. Cancer: Oral Cavity and Pharynx.” National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health. www.seer.cancer.gov/statfacts/html/oralcav.html Accessed 2013.

“Oral Cancer.” National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, National Institutes of Health, July 2006. www.nidcr.nih.gov/OralHealth/Topics/OralCancer/OralCancer.htm Accessed 2013.

“Oral Cancer.” American Cancer Society, 2007. www.cancer.org/downloads/PRO/OralCancer.pdf Accessed 2013.

“Oral Cancer Prevention. Patient Version.” National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, January 9, 2013. www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/prevention/oral/patient Accessed 2013.

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