One hundred Danes with oral cancer who were collected consecutively from 1986 to 1991 were evaluated retrospectively. The study included subjective and objective observations in 56% men and in 44% women. M:F ratio was 1.2:1. Fifty percent of the patients were non-smokers. Nine percent were women who did not drink alcohol. Ten percent of the patients were between 40 and 49 years of age, 20% between 50 and 59 years, 35% were between 60 and 69 years and 20% between 70 and 79 years of age. This may reflect a tradition of early drinking and smoking. Doctor's delay was the cause of delayed referral in 14% of the cases while 72% of the patients were the cause themselves for the delayed referral.