Introduction: Oral cancer is presented in different ways and variable complexities. These lesions present a high mortality rate, therefore, it is considered a severe health problem in the world. The treatment of these lesions is established according to extension, location, early detection and diagnosis. Objective: To characterize epidemiological aspects of diagnosed patients with oral cancer in a Brazilian population. Methods: Cross-sectional study, analytical-descriptive, retrospective, based on 3730 medical records of cancer cases provided by the Medical Service. The statistical descriptive analysis was performed together with the clinical, sociodemographic variables and risk factors. Results: In the period analysed, 77 cases of oral cancer occurred, accounting for 2.06% amongst all the cancer cases registered in the same period. There was a predominance of male individuals (73%), mixed race (57%), in the age range from 55 to 64 years old (29%), coming from urban areas (52%). Squamous cell carcinoma appeared in 78% of the cases and the most prevalent clinical findings were locations in non-specific areas of the tongue in stage III. Surgical approaches, in isolated modalities or associated with radiotherapy and chemotherapy were the most performed treatments. Conclusion: Oral cancer in the countryside of the state of Ceará is belatedly diagnosed and affects the majority of mixed race men in advanced ages. Tobacco and alcohol consumption presents high prevalence. The regions of salivary glands and tongue are the most common affected locations by this pathology.