Objectives: To determine the association between neighborhood socioeconomic status (nSES), race and incidence rate trends of oral cavity cancer (OCC). Materials and methods: We used data from the SEER (Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results) 18 Census Tract-level SES and Rurality Database (2006–2018) database of the National Cancer Institute to create cohorts of OCC patients between 2006 and 2018. Annual incidence rates were calculated and trends in rates were estimated using joinpoints regression. Results: The incidence of OCC is the highest among low nSES White Americans (2.86 per 100 000 persons) and the lowest among high nSES Black Americans (1.17 per 100 000 persons). Incidence has significantly increased among Asian Americans (annual percent change [APC]: low nSES-2.4, high nSES-2.6) and White Americans (APC: low nSES-1.4, high nSES-1.6). Significant increases in the incidence of oral tongue cancer in these groups primarily drive this increase. Other increases were noted in alveolar ridge cancer among White Americans and hard palate cancer among Asian Americans. OCC incidence decreased significantly in Hispanic Americans of high nSES (APC: −2.5) and Black Americans of low nSES (APC: −2.7). Floor of mouth cancer incidence decreased among most groups. Conclusion: Despite the overall decreasing incidence of OCC, these trends are inconsistent among all OCC subsites. Differences are seen by race, nSES, and subsite, indicating intersectional barriers that extend beyond nSES and race and ethnicity alone. Further research on risk factors and developing interventions targeting vulnerable groups is needed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106607
JournalOral Oncology
StatePublished - Dec 2023


  • Disparities
  • Head and neck cancer
  • Incidence
  • Oral cavity cancer
  • Race
  • Socioeconomic status


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