Oral cancer is a malignant growth involving the tongue, floor, palate, interior lining of the cheeks or lips, or other parts of the mouth or pharynx. Most oral cancers are squamous cell carcinomas. It is the most common cancer in parts of Southeast Asia and India; in the United States it ranked seventh, most common among blacks and twelfth among whites. Incidence and mortality rates increase with age, though in the United States they have been decreasing among whites and increasing among nonwhites. Tongue cancer incidence and mortality have been increasing since 1970 among the young in the United States. Tobacco and alcohol are major risk factors for oral cancer; used together, they increase the effects of each other.
JOHN C. GREENE
Schottenfeld, D., and Fraumeni, J. F., Jr., eds. (1996). Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention, 2nd edition. New York: Oxford University Press.