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Diseases

Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

Oral cancer


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Overview

Oral cancer includes cancers of the mouth, lips, and oropharynx (the part of the throat at the back of the mouth). Most cases are designated as squamous cell carcinomas because they begin in the flat cells (squamous cells) that cover the surfaces of the mouth, tongue, and lips.[1] About 42,000 individuals in the United Stated are diagnosed with oral cancer each year. Most cases occur in people over age 40. Men are twice as likely to be affected as women.[2] The use of alcohol and/or tobacco is associated with approximately 75 percent of oral cancers.[1] Other risk factors include HPV, a sexually transmitted disease; increasing age; sun exposure; and a poor diet. Treatment for oral cancer may include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or targeted therapy.[1]
Last updated: 6/21/2016

References

  1. What You Need to Know About Oral Cancer. National Cancer Institute. 2009; http://www.cancer.gov/publications/patient-education/wyntk-oral.pdf.
  2. Oral Cancer. National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. August 2014; http://www.nidcr.nih.gov/OralHealth/Topics/OralCancer/OralCancer.htm.
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Basic Information

  • You can obtain information on this topic from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC is recognized as the lead federal agency for developing and applying disease prevention and control, environmental health, and health promotion and education activities designed to improve the health of the people of the United States.
  • MedlinePlus was designed by the National Library of Medicine to help you research your health questions, and it provides more information about this topic.
  • The Merck Manuals Online Medical Library provides information on this condition for patients and caregivers. 
  • The National Cancer Institute provides the most current information on cancer for patients, health professionals, and the general public.
  • The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), purposes to improve oral, dental and craniofacial health through research, research training, and the dissemination of health information. Click on the link to view information on this topic. 
  • Cancer.Net, a resource from the American Society of Clinical Oncology, provides information about oral cancer. Click on the above link to access this information.
  • The American Cancer Society provides information about oral cancer. Click on the link to access this information.

Selected Full-Text Journal Articles

  • Kademani D. Oral cancer. Mayo Clinic Proceedings. 2007 Jul;82(7):878-887. 
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.