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BY Ann Gillenwater, M.D.

As director of MD Anderson’s Oral Cancer Prevention Clinic, I see many patients each year with both oral cancers and pre-cancerous conditions. Squamous cell carcinoma accounts for about 95% of oral cancers, which, unlike oropharyngeal cancers, are not related to the human papillomavirus (HPV).

One thing I’ve noticed is how many patients express the same reasons for not having their oral lesions looked at sooner. None of them are...

Woman smiling with mouth open and tongue out

BY Shelley Varnado

In January 2020, I noticed a changing spot under my tongue. My family doctor advised that I get it biopsied. The results came back negative...

BY Kate Hutcheson, Ph.D.

The ability to swallow — or to eat and drink what you enjoy most without choking or coughing — is something that many of us take for granted...

BY Cynthia DeMarco

Singer and songwriter Kimmie Rhodes holds a somewhat unique distinction: she’s supported two different people on their oral cancer journeys.

The first was her late husband, writer and music producer Joe Gracey, who died of metastatic esophageal cancer in 2011, more than 30 years after his initial tongue cancer diagnosis. The second is professional consultant and life coach Corky Hilliard, an MD Anderson tongue cancer patient who...

Cancerwise blog post: Kimmie Rhodes supported her husband and a friend through tongue cancer, a type of oral cancer

BY Cynthia DeMarco

When Cora “Corky” Hilliard was diagnosed with squamous cell cancer of the tongue for the second time in June 2012, she got to MD Anderson...

BY Clayton Boldt, Ph.D.

The single greatest step you can take to protecting your health is to quit using tobacco. Tobacco is responsible for one-third of all cancers...

BY Emily Tickle Thomas

My name is Emily Tickle Thomas and I had cancer. I was diagnosed with oral squamous cell carcinoma in 2007 while pregnant with my fourth son...