Who are at the Risk of Oral Cancer?

Oral cancer is rare because its early signs are often mild or non-specific, which delays diagnosis to the later stage of the disease where extensive treatments will be required for cure. So, oral cancer screenings from a dentist in Willowbrook are essential to catch the disease early and treat it successfully.

Let us now see what increases the risk of oral cancer.

  • Age

People over 40 are more at risk of oral cancer. This means that individuals who start smoking, chewing tobacco, or drinking alcohol at an earlier age will have a higher risk of oral cancer as they get older.

  • Smoking or tobacco use

Tobacco use is the biggest risk factor for oral cancer, especially if you smoke 2 or more packs of cigarettes a day. Likewise, if you chew tobacco or use snuff, this can increase your risk as well. One in three cancer deaths from oral cancer is related to tobacco use.

  • Excessive consumption of alcohol

On the other hand, drinking excessive amounts of alcohol can also increase the risk of oral cancer. Drinking alcohol every day increases your chances of developing oral cancer by 30 to 40%.

  • Human papillomavirus (HPV)

HPV is the most widespread sexually transmitted infection in the world. If you have HPV, you can increase your chances of getting oral cancer by half. This is because this virus can cause mouth sores, which may become cancerous. 

  • Gender

Men are more susceptible to oral cancer than women. This is because men are more likely to smoke, drink alcohol, and use tobacco products. Moreover, men are less likely to visit the dentist for oral cancer screenings. So, it is quite normal to see more oral cancer cases among men than among women.

  • An unhealthy diet

Eating a poor diet can lead to cancer because it can affect your susceptibility. Diet includes the kinds of food you eat and the levels of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that are present in your body. If you eat foods with less nutritional value, your body may become depleted of these important ingredients, which may lead to the growth of cancerous cells in your mouth.

  • Prolonged sun exposure

UV radiation from the sun is also related to oral cancer because it affects the skin of the lips and the area surrounding the mouth, causing dark spots and splotches that do not fade away after regular sun exposure. These areas become more susceptible to UV radiation, which can increase the risk of cancer.

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