Oral Cancer Awareness of Michigan
Oral Cancer of Michigan

Common Risk Factors


• Close to 49,750 Americans will be diagnosed with oral oropharyngeal cancer this year.
• Of those 49,750 newly diagnosed individuals, only slightly more than half will be alive in 5 years,
• Oral Cancer will cause over 9,750 deaths, killing roughly 1 person per hour, 24 hours per day
• If combine the definition of oral and oropharyngeal cancers to include cancer of the larynx, the numbers of diagnosed cases grow to approximately 54,000 individuals and 13,500 deaths per year in the U.S. alone.
• Worldwide the problem is much greater, with over 450,000 new cases being found each year.

Common Risk Factors:

• Tobacco Use
• Alcohol
• Prolong sun exposure
• Human papillomavirus (HPV16)
• Gender. Men are more likely to develop oral and oropharyngeal cancer than women.


• Although there is no proven way to completely prevent this disease, you may be able to lower your risk by making healthier lifestyle choices.
• Annual Oral Cancer Screenings with your dentist or hygienist.

Possible Signs & Symptoms:

People with oral or oropharyngeal cancer may experience the following symptoms or signs. Sometimes, people with oral or oropharyngeal cancer do not have any of these changes. Often, a dentist or hygienist is the first person to find oral or oropharyngeal cancer during a routine examination.

• Sore in the mouth or on the lip that does not heal; this is the most common symptom
• Red or white patch on the gums, tongue, tonsil, or lining of the mouth
• Lump on the lip, mouth, neck, or throat or a feeling of thickening in the cheek
• Persistent sore throat or feeling that something is caught in the throat
• Hoarseness or change in voice
• Numbness of the mouth or tongue
• Pain or bleeding in the mouth
• Difficulty chewing, swallowing, or moving the jaws or tongue
• Ear and/or jaw pain
• Chronic bad breath
• Changes in speech
• Loosening of teeth or toothache
• Dentures that no longer fit
• Unexplained weight loss
• Fatigue
• Loss of appetite, especially when prolonged; this may happen during the later stages of the disease