SEER Stat Fact Sheets: Oral Cavity and Pharynx Cancer
Lifetime risk estimates are not available with the current statistics release, but will be added later when population data for older age groups are available.
Statistics at a GlanceShow More
At a Glance
- Estimated New Cases in 2016 48,330
- Estimated Deaths in 2016 9,570
Number of New Cases and Deaths per 100,000: The number of new cases of oral cavity and pharynx cancer was 11.1 per 100,000 men and women per year. The number of deaths was 2.4 per 100,000 men and women per year. These rates are age-adjusted and based on 2009-2013 cases and deaths.
Lifetime Risk of Developing Cancer: Approximately 1.1 percent of men and women will be diagnosed with oral cavity and pharynx cancer at some point during their lifetime, based on 2010-2012 data.
Prevalence of This Cancer: In 2013, there were an estimated 300,682 people living with oral cavity and pharynx cancer in the United States.
Survival StatisticsShow More
How Many People Survive 5 Years Or More after Being Diagnosed with Oral Cavity and Pharynx Cancer?
Relative survival statistics compare the survival of patients diagnosed with cancer with the survival of people in the general population who are the same age, race, and sex and who have not been diagnosed with cancer. Because survival statistics are based on large groups of people, they cannot be used to predict exactly what will happen to an individual patient. No two patients are entirely alike, and treatment and responses to treatment can vary greatly.
Based on data from SEER 18 2006-2012. Gray figures represent those who have died from oral cavity and pharynx cancer. Green figures represent those who have survived 5 years or more.
Survival by Stage
Cancer stage at diagnosis, which refers to extent of a cancer in the body, determines treatment options and has a strong influence on the length of survival. In general, if the cancer is found only in the part of the body where it started it is localized (sometimes referred to as stage 1). If it has spread to a different part of the body, the stage is regional or distant. The earlier oral cavity and pharynx cancer is caught, the better chance a person has of surviving five years after being diagnosed. For oral cavity and pharynx cancer, 30.2% are diagnosed at the local stage. The 5-year survival for localized oral cavity and pharynx cancer is 83.3%.
- Localized (30%)
Confined to Primary Site
- Regional (47%)
Spread to Regional Lymph Nodes
- Distant (18%)
Cancer Has Metastasized
- Unknown (5%)
SEER 18 2006-2012, All Races, Both Sexes by SEER Summary Stage 2000
Number of New Cases and DeathsShow More
How Common Is This Cancer?
|Common Types of Cancer||Estimated New
|1.||Breast Cancer (Female)||246,660||40,450|
|2.||Lung and Bronchus Cancer||224,390||158,080|
|4.||Colon and Rectum Cancer||134,490||49,190|
|6.||Melanoma of the Skin||76,380||10,130|
|9.||Kidney and Renal Pelvis Cancer||62,700||14,240|
|Oral Cavity and Pharynx Cancer||48,330||9,570|
Oral cavity and pharynx cancer represents 2.9% of all new cancer cases in the U.S.
In 2016, it is estimated that there will be 48,330 new cases of oral cavity and pharynx cancer and an estimated 9,570 people will die of this disease.
Who Gets This Cancer?
Oral cancer is more common in men than women, among those with a history of tobacco or heavy alcohol use, and individuals infected with human papillomavirus (HPV). The number of new cases of oral cavity and pharynx cancer was 11.1 per 100,000 men and women per year based on 2009-2013 cases.
Oral cavity and pharynx cancer is most frequently diagnosed among people aged 55-64.
SEER 18 2009-2013, All Races, Both Sexes
- All Races
- Asian /
- American Indian /
SEER 18 2009-2013, Age-Adjusted
Who Dies From This Cancer?
For oral cancer, death rates are higher among males, particularly those of African American descent. The number of deaths was 2.4 per 100,000 men and women per year based on 2009-2013 deaths.
The percent of oral cavity and pharynx cancer deaths is highest among people aged 55-64.
U.S. 2009-2013, All Races, Both Sexes
- All Races
- Asian /
- American Indian /
U.S. 2009-2013, Age-Adjusted
Trends in RatesShow More
Changes Over Time
Keeping track of the number of new cases, deaths, and survival over time (trends) can help scientists understand whether progress is being made and where additional research is needed to address challenges, such as improving screening or finding better treatments.
Using statistical models for analysis, rates for new oral cavity and pharynx cancer cases have been rising on average 0.6% each year over the last 10 years. Death rates have not changed significantly over 2004-2013. 5-year survival trends are shown below the figure.
|5-Year Relative Survival||52.7%||53.6%||54.4%||57.0%||58.5%||62.0%||64.8%||66.2%|
SEER 9 Incidence & U.S. Mortality 1975-2013, All Races, Both Sexes. Rates are Age-Adjusted.
More About This CancerShow More
Cancer and the Oral Cavity and Pharynx
Most lip and oral cavity cancers start in squamous cells, the thin, flat cells that line the lips and oral cavity. These are called squamous cell carcinomas. Cancer cells may spread into deeper tissue as the cancer grows. Squamous cell carcinoma usually develops in areas of leukoplakia (white patches of cells that do not rub off).
Lip and oral cavity cancer is a type of head and neck cancer.
Here are some resources for learning more about oral cancer.
- More about risk factors for oral cancer
- More about symptoms and diagnosis of oral cancer
- More about treatment options for oral cancer
- More about clinical trials
- More about cancer prevention
All statistics in this report are based on statistics from SEER and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics. Most can be found within:
Howlader N, Noone AM, Krapcho M, Miller D, Bishop K, Altekruse SF, Kosary CL, Yu M, Ruhl J, Tatalovich Z, Mariotto A, Lewis DR, Chen HS, Feuer EJ, Cronin KA (eds). SEER Cancer Statistics Review, 1975-2013, National Cancer Institute. Bethesda, MD, http://seer.cancer.gov/csr/1975_2013/, based on November 2015 SEER data submission, posted to the SEER web site, April 2016.
All material in this report is in the public domain and may be reproduced or copied without permission; citation as to source, however, is appreciated.
SEER Cancer Statistics Factsheets: Oral Cavity and Pharynx Cancer. National Cancer Institute. Bethesda, MD, http://seer.cancer.gov/statfacts/html/oralcav.html
This factsheet focuses on population statistics that are based on the US population. Because these statistics are based on large groups of people, they cannot be used to predict exactly what will happen to an individual patient. To see tailored statistics, browse the SEER Cancer Statistics Review. To see statistics for a specific state, go to the State Cancer Profiles.
The statistics presented in this factsheet are based on the most recent data available, most of which can be found in the SEER Cancer Statistics Review. In some cases, different year spans may be used. Estimates for the current year are based on past data.
Cancer is a complex topic. There is a wide range of information available. This factsheet does not address causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, follow-up care, or decision making, although it provides links to information in many of these areas.