Background Machine learning techniques are becoming useful as an alternative approach to conventional medical diagnosis or prognosis as they are good for handling noisy and incomplete data, and significant results can be attained despite a small sample size. Traditionally, clinicians make prognostic decisions based on clinicopathologic markers. However, it is not easy for the most skilful clinician to come out with an accurate prognosis by using these markers alone. Thus, there is a need to use genomic markers to improve the accuracy of prognosis. The main aim of this research is to apply a hybrid of feature selection and machine learning methods in oral cancer prognosis based on the parameters of the correlation of clinicopathologic and genomic markers. Results In the first stage of this research, five feature selection methods have been proposed and experimented on the oral cancer prognosis dataset. In the second stage, the model with the features selected from each feature selection methods are tested on the proposed classifiers. Four types of classifiers are chosen; these are namely, ANFIS, artificial neural network, support vector machine and logistic regression. A k-fold cross-validation is implemented on all types of classifiers due to the small sample size. The hybrid model of ReliefF-GA-ANFIS with 3-input features of drink, invasion and p63 achieved the best accuracy (accuracy = 93.81%; AUC = 0.90) for the oral cancer prognosis. Conclusions The results revealed that the prognosis is superior with the presence of both clinicopathologic and genomic markers. The selected features can be investigated further to validate the potential of becoming as significant prognostic signature in the oral cancer studies.