April 16, 2014

Oral Cancer Demographics and Risk Factors

Smoking Increase Risk 37-Fold 

In the US there are an estimated 36,450 new cases of oral cancer diagnosed each year, 25,420 in men and 11,120 in women.  Nearly 7,880 people die of cancer of the oral cavity and pharynx each year.  The average age for diagnosis is 62 years and 1.02% of people born today will be diagnosed with it during their lifetime.

Approximately 90% of oral cancer is on the surface and called squamous cell carcinoma.  Traditional risk factors are tobacco and alcohol.  When someone smokes and drinks, their risk is increased 37-fold.  Higher risk sites include the tongue and floor of the mouth.  Cancer of gum tissues accounts for about 10% of all oral cancers.

Although the average age for diagnosis is 62 years, a rapidly growing number of younger patients without traditional risk factors are being diagnosed with HPV- related tumors of the tonsils and base of the tongue.

Source: AAOMS Surgical Update, Vol 24, 1

Robert G. Tupac, DDS, FACP, Inc., Diplomate, American Board of Prosthodontics (661) 325-1275 | www.drtupac.com 5060 California Ave., #170, Bakersfield, CA 93309

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