Oral Cancer Facts

Mouth and Throat Cancers are most often seen in these areas:

  • Tongue
  • Tonsils and Throat
  • The floor of the Mouth and other parts of the Mouth

Oral Cancers are much more common in men than women and increases as you get older.

Oral Cancers are about equally common in black and white people; however, Black men die at a higher rate than their White counterparts. Much of the risk of mouth cancer is due to tobacco use (cigarette and chew) and drinking alcohol. Most people who are diagnosed with these cancers are older, around the age of 60. 

There is has been an increase in cases of Throat Cancer linked to Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) infection in both men and women. For the first time, there is a vaccine that can prevent cancer and is safe and effective. Boys and girls at age 9-26 should get the vaccine for HPV to have the best chance of work preventing Oral Cancers. The Food and Drug Administration has approved the HPV vaccine to be given to people up to the age of 45 who have never been vaccinated. Most people who are diagnosed with HPV related cancers are much younger around 40-50 years of age.

Ways to Help Prevent Oral Cancer

  • regular oral health checkups
  • do not smoke or use smokeless tobacco products
  • do not use e-cigarettes or vape
  • limit alcohol use
  • eat a healthy diet of fruits and vegetables

Risk Factors

  • use of Tobacco and Tobacco Products
  • heavy Alcohol use
  • exposure to HPV-Human Papillomavirus 

Get a checkup

Get a professional oral cancer screening at least once per year. Cancer screen more frequently if you are at high risk, such as if you drink alcohol, smoke or use smokeless tobacco, or if you have ever been treated for cancer.

If you have a sore or ulcer that you cannot explain with injury and has not healed in two weeks.