The vast majority of oral cancers are diagnosed in people over 40 years of age and typically peak between ages 60 and 70. African-American and Hispanic men are twice as likely as Caucasian men to be found to have oral cancer. The incidence of oral cancer in men vs. women historically was around six to one but has fallen to about two to one.
The reason for the decline is suspected to be due to more women using tobacco and alcohol, two known risk factors for oral cancer. The incidence of oral cancer in non-smokers under age 50 is growing due to an increase in exposure to HPV viral infections.