According to the American Dental Association, oral-related cancers affect around 40,000 people per year. Knowing the risk factors can help you remain more vigilant for the signs.
Cancer can appear…
- Anywhere in the mouth
- On the tonsils
- Back of the tongue
Two things you can do are, visit your dentist regularly, and break the bad health habits that could lead to cancer – but what are the risk factors? The American Dental Association lists six of them. Here are some of the risk factors…
Did you know that males are two times more likely to contract oral cancers? Men visit the dentist less than women. According to the American Cancer Society, they also use more tobacco products and drink more than women. And studies show, more men of a younger age are contracting HPV-related forms of oral cancer. So if you are male, you need to be careful!
Oral cancer risks greatly increase after the age of 44, with a median age of 62, though possibly trending younger, due to increases in HPV.
It’s a plain fact that smoking can cause oral cancer and other forms as well. Pipe smokers risk cancer on their lips. Cancer of the cheeks, gums, and lips are elevated when you partake in smokeless tobacco – nasty stuff!
The American Cancer Society says, 7 out of 10 oral cancer patients are heavy drinkers – that is, an average of two drinks daily or more for men, and an average of more than one drink a day for women, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
HPV is a sexually transmitted disease that claims 10,000 cases of oropharyngeal cancer annually in the U.S. alone. HPV victims are younger and non-smokers.
Lip cancer is a risk for people working outdoors for significant periods. If this is you, use sunscreen!
What You Eat
Did you know that diets low in fruits and vegetables may increase chances of developing oral cancer?
Nothing can guarantee that you won’t get oral cancer – but reducing the controllable risk factors can go a long way toward decreasing the chances.
Ask your dentist or orthodontist!