Early Screenings for Oral Cancer
Oral cancer is cancerous tissue that develops anywhere in the mouth and is actually part of a group of cancers called throat and neck cancers.
Risk Factors for Oral Cancer
Sometimes there is no explanation as to why one person gets oral cancer and another does not, however there are factors that significantly increase your risk of oral cancer.
Factors That Increase Your Risk for Oral Cancer
Tobacco and Alcohol:
The majority of cases of oral cancer are related to tobacco and alcohol use. Approximately 90% of people with mouth cancer are tobacco users. Smokers are 6 times more likely than nonsmokers to develop mouth cancer. Those who drink alcohol are also 6 times more likely than those that don’t drink to develop mouth cancer. Those that smoke and drink are 15 times more likely to develop mouth cancer.
Exposure to the sun can give you lip cancer, although the use of sunscreens and hats with a brim are helpful in prevention. Smoking can also increase your chances of lip cancer.
History of throat or neck cancer:
People who have had another form of throat or neck cancer are more likely to develop a second cancer in the region.
HPV (Human Papilloma Virus):
The most sexually transmitted virus in the US is now one of the primary risk factors.
Importance of Early Detection
Mouth cancers have a higher percentage of deaths per number of cases than breast cancer, melanoma and cervical cancer. Overall survival rate is 50%, but survival rates within stage 1 oral cancer are 90%, thus early detection is important. Make sure you visit us regularly for check ups, especially if you have any of the risk factors.