Knowing Your Risks of Oral Cancer

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Am I at Risk for Oral Cancer?

As you age, there are many different health measures you should take to ensure you live a happy, healthy life, including many forms of cancer. However, many patients don’t think about their risks of oral cancer. Learn statistics about this disease as well as how you can proactively protect your health:

Oral Cancer Statistics

Oral cancer is that which is found in the mouth while oropharyngeal cancer is cancer found in the oropharynx (the throat area at the back of the mouth).

According to the American Cancer Society, here are the most recent estimates for oral cavity and oropharyngeal cancers in the United States for 2021:

  • About 54,010 people will get oral cavity or oropharyngeal cancer.
  • An estimated 10,850 people will die of these cancers.
  • Men are twice as likely as women to develop oral cancer.
  • Over the past 30 years, the death rate for these cancers has decreased.
  • On average, patients that are 62 are most commonly diagnosed.
  • Oral cancer is rare in younger patients and children, but still possible.
  • Why Oral Cancer Forms

Any type of cancer forms when cells in the body start to grow out of control, however, researchers are still unsure about what causes each case of the oral cavity or oropharyngeal cancer. While there isn’t an exact cause, scientists do know many of the risk factors associated with cells becoming cancerous.

Several factors can lead to oral cancer, but a patient’s age is the most common. The other most common risk factors of oral cancer include:

  • Tobacco use.
  • Alcohol use.
  • Marijuana use.
  • Patients with HPV.
  • Patients 45 years and older.
  • Patients who have fair skin.
  • Patients with a poor diet.
  • Prolonged sun exposure.
  • Patients with graft-versus-host disease.
  • Patients who are immunocompromised.
  • Patients that have a genetic predisposition or syndrome.
  • Gender (men are more prone to oral cancer than women).

Patients at a Heightened Risk

According to the American Society of Clinical Oncology, chewing tobacco or snuff is associated with a 50% increase in cancer risk in the cheeks, gums, and inner surface of the lips.

Several studies have also linked patients with gum disease to an increased risk of oral cancer. This is why taking proper care of your smile is essential not just to your dental health but also to your overall health.

Oral Cancer Screenings in Frisco

To Talk to Dr. Neal about your risks of oral cancer and learn when screening is appropriate by booking your next appointment today: (972) 200-0656

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