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Common Risk Factors for Oral Cancer

Posted on 8/9/2021 by Young Jun DDS MD FACS
Common Risk Factors for Oral CancerSome people have a higher risk of getting oral cancer than others. However, that does not mean you should bypass a screening if you are at a low-risk or younger. People aged 20 to 39 years old should get an oral cancer screening every 3 years while anyone 40 and over, or a high risk patient, should schedule a yearly exam.

What Risks Increase the Chance of Getting Oral Cancer?

You are at an increased risk of getting oral cancer if you smoke or drink or chew tobacco. People who have the human papillomavirus (HPV) or have cancer in their family should receive annual oral cancer screenings.

Risks for Women and Men Externally and Genetically

Men are twice as likely to get oral cancer than women. Scientists believe that a man's tendency to use tobacco or drink puts him at an increased risk. HPV-related oral cancers are also more likely to affect men than women. Oral cancer may also develop because of a genetic condition. For example, people who have the genetic syndrome, Fanconi anemia have a higher risk of getting throat or mouth cancer.

Body Weight and Age

Too much body weight appears to increase the risk of getting cancer of the larynx and oropharynx. Nutritionists advise that people who have excess body weight eat non-starchy vegetables and fresh fruits to lose weight and to lower their risk of getting oropharyngeal and laryngeal cancers. Oral cancer can take years to develop and emerge and therefore id not commonly seen in young patients. Most of the patients who get oral cancer are aged 55 or over. HPV-based oral cancers typically occur in patients under the age of 55.

UV Light or Sunlight

The sun also plays a role in elevating the risk of oral cancer in people. You should get annually checked for oral cancer if you have an outside job. Therefore, people who are 20 to 39 years old who normally can schedule screenings every three years should get checked annually if they work outside.

If you have not been screened for oral cancer, now is a good time to book an appointment. Give us a call anytime and we will arrange an exam at a time that will work with your schedule.

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