What is Oral Cancer?
Approximately 35,000 Americans are diagnosed each year with this largely preventable type of cancer that affects the mouth and/or part of the throat. Most oral cancers are related to tobacco use, alcohol use, or both. You can help reduce your risk for oral cancer by avoiding all tobacco products and drinking alcohol only in moderation.
Because oral cancer can spread quickly, early detection is important. An oral cancer exam can identify early signs of this disease. The exam is quick and painless, and can be done during your regular dental check-up. Be sure to tell your dentist if you notice persistent changes in your mouth or throat, such as sores, swelling, or numbness, or if you have difficulty eating or swallowing.
For health professionals
- Detecting Oral Cancer: A Guide for Health Care Professionals
A step-by-step, illustrated guide for health professionals that provides instruction on examining the mouth for signs of oral cancer.
For patients and the public
- Oral Cancer
Pamphlet that describes the risk factors, signs and symptoms of oral cancer, and the importance of detecting the disease in its early stages.
- The Oral Cancer Exam
Step-by-step description of the oral cancer examination so patients know what to expect.
- What You Need to Know About Oral Cancer
For people who have been diagnosed with oral cancer, this brochure includes information on symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of oral cancer, along with definitions of selected medical terms and resource information.
- Oral Cancer
A fact sheet that describes current and future efforts to improve detection and treatment of oral cancers.
- Head and Neck Cancer: Questions and Answers
A fact sheet from the NIH’s National Cancer Institute that answers questions about cancers of the mouth (oral cavity), salivary glands, sinuses, throat (pharynx), voice box (larynx), and lymph nodes in the upper neck.
- Oral Cancer Home Page
The NIH National Cancer Institute’s gateway for information about oral cancer.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Oral Cancer page
Information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including a fact sheet on oral cancer.
- MedlinePlus: Oral Cancer
The NIH National Library of Medicine’s compilation of links to government, professional and non-profit/voluntary organizations with information on oral cancer.
NIDCR’s “Oral Cancer: What African American Men Need to Know” campaign
- Oral Cancer: What African American Men Need to Know
Snapshot of NIDCR’s campaign to raise African American men’s awareness of their risk for oral cancer and the importance of early detection.
- Are You At Risk for Oral Cancer? What African American Men Need to Know (Booklet)
Part of the “Oral Cancer: What African American Men Need to Know” series, this booklet is aimed at raising awareness among African American men about their risk for oral cancer and the importance of detecting the disease early.
- The Oral Cancer Exam: What African American Men Need to Know
A companion to “Are You At Risk for Oral Cancer? What African American Men Need to Know,” this card describes the steps of an oral cancer examination.
- Oral Cancer: What African American Men Need to Know (Poster)
This 8.5×11 poster is designed to raise African American men’s awareness of their risk for oral cancer and the importance of early detection. Part of the “Oral Cancer: What African American Men Need to Know” series.
- Oral Cancer: Causes and Symptoms & The Oral Cancer Exam
Part of the “Oral Cancer: What African American Men Need to Know” series, this fact sheet highlights oral cancer’s risk factors and signs and symptoms, and the importance of the oral cancer exam. Also includes a list of additional reading.
- Controlling Cancer Growth (January 2014)
- Targeting HPV-Transformed Cells (December 2013)
- Landscape of an Enigma (May 2013)
- Novel Animal Models of Acute and Chronic Cancer Pain: A Pivotal Role for PAR2 (January 2013)
- Recalculating: Scientists Reroute Their Efforts on Mucositis (January 2013)
- Natural Product (June 2012)
- The Exome Factor (October 2011)
- Novel Therapeutic Strategy for Head and Neck Cancer (July 2010)
- A Case for Tailored Care (November 2009)
- Immune Peptide Shows Potential to Help Diagnose Oral Cancer (September 2009)
- Scientists Discover Another RNA in Saliva (September 2009)
- TP53 and the Prognosis of Head and Neck Cancer (January 2008)
- A Closer Look at Developing a Lab on a Chip for Oral Cancer (August 2007)
- Oral Cancer Statistics
Latest statistics on oral cancer incidence, prevalence, and 5-year survival rates