Purpose: Oral and pharyngeal cancer is the seventh leading tumour in Europe. In Germany, more than 10,000 new cancer cases are diagnosed each year. This populationbased project evaluated the available data to develop a more detailed epidemiological profile of oral and pharyngeal cancer. Methods: The data on incidence and mortality rates of the population-based Cancer Registry of Schleswig-Holstein were evaluated according to tumour sites, tumour stages and residential areas by age groups and gender from 2000 to 2006 and the tumour stages from 2000 to 2007. Results: From 2000 to 2006, 3,127 new cases of oral and pharyngeal cancer (72% in men vs. 28% in women) were registered. About 50% of all cases, in men and women, were between 60 and 79 years. This detailed analysis of tumour sites and tumour stages showed interesting differences and revealed considerable variations. The highest incidence rates for both men and women were diagnosed in stage IV for older people, in women for oral cancer and men for pharyngeal cancer. The highest incidence and mortality trends were observed in urban areas. Conclusions: Detailed population-based results described important variations with regard to tumour sites, stages and areas. These data play a central role as they provide the epidemiological profile of a tumour. This profile, together with possible targeted knowledge evaluations of the public and the health care providers involved, can be used as a prerequisite for health care activities and for the development of preventive strategies for targeted public awareness campaigns.