• 8/15/2002
  • Atlanta
  • Cancer Journal for Clinicians

An estimated 28,900 Americans will be diagnosed with oral or pharyngeal cancer and nearly 7,400 will succumb to the disease, according to a review published in the July/August issue of CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, a peer-reviewed journal from the American Cancer Society.

This disease most commonly has been found in middle-aged and older individuals, and it has affected more men than women. However, authors Brad W. Neville, DDS, and Terry A. Day, MD, FACS, say that “a disturbing number of these malignancies is being documented in younger adults…[and the] disparity in the male:female ratio has become less pronounced over the past half century, probably because women have been more equally exposing themselves to known oral carcinogens such as tobacco and alcohol.”

Along with a review of the epidemiological and clinical features of oral and oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma, Neville and Day emphasize early detection as the best method of prevention.

“In spite of the ready accessibility of the oral cavity to direct examination, these malignancies still are often not detected until a late stage, and the survival rate for oral cancer has remained essentially unchanged over the past three decades,” say the authors.