Objective: Compare incidence, mortality, and trends of oral cancer (including the pharynx) in Wisconsin and the United States by race and gender from 1999-2002.
Methods: Age-adjusted incidence rates were compared using data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC WONDER). Mortality rates were compared using data from the Wisconsin Interactive Statistics on Health (WISH) and CDC US Cancer Statistics.
Results: Incidence rates for oral cancer were higher among males than females in both Wisconsin and the United States. Trends in the incidence rate show the gender disparity has not changed. Furthermore, the incidence rate for African American males is higher in Wisconsin than in the United States. Mortality rates for males were approximately 2 times higher than females in Wisconsin and the United States. Additionally, African American males are more likely than white males to die from this form of cancer, and the likelihood is higher in Wisconsin than in the United States (2.4 versus 1.8, respectively).
Conclusion: Racial disparities in oral cancer for African American males are greater in Wisconsin than in the United States. This may result from variation in access to oral health care, tobacco and alcohol use, as well as limited resources in detection and prevention methods. Wisconsin should focus its oral cancer prevention activities on this high-risk group.