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Risk Factors for Oral Cancer
Oral cancer is one of the most frequent illnesses and a serious public health concern. The risk rises with age, peaking around 45. What’s more, oral cancer in men is far more prevalent than in women. The good news is that there are preventative measures you can take. To help you live the healthiest possible lifestyle, we’ll discuss what causes oral and gum cancer.
A risk factor is something that raises a person’s risk of developing an illness like cancer. Some risk factors, such as smoking, are modifiable. Others, such as a person’s age or family history, are immutable. However, risk variables do not provide complete information. Having one or more risk factors does not guarantee that a person will develop the disease.
That said, the risk factors for oral cancer include the following:
Consumption of Tobacco
Tobacco usage and smoking cause mouth cancers. Tobacco in any form, including cigarettes, cigars, pipes, bidis, and chewing tobacco, increases the risk of oral cancer. Because tobacco constantly comes into contact with the lips and mouth, that’s how smoking causes oral cancer. Smoking and oral cancer go hand in hand because the longer and more frequently you smoke tobacco, the greater your risk will be.
Chewing tobacco and snuff are linked to a 50 percent increased risk of cancer in the cheeks, gums, and inner surface of the lips, where the tobacco comes into contact with the most. Secondhand smoke can also raise the chance of developing head and neck cancer.
Consumption of Alcoholic Beverages
One of the most important mouth cancer risk factors is alcohol consumption – and, as with tobacco, the higher your consumption is, the greater your risk will be. Alcohol use, especially heavy drinking, increases the risk of head and neck cancer. When you combine the use of cigarettes and alcohol, you’re more likely to acquire mouth cancer than if you only use one of them.
Consumption of Areca Nut and Betel Quid
In South Asia and among some South Asian immigrants in the United States, chewing betel quid or areca nut is a popular pastime. Areca nut (the seed from the oriental palm’s fruit) and lime are wrapped in a betel leaf to make betel quid or paan. Some folks chew the areca nut on its own. Tobacco and betel quid are frequently chewed together, and betel quid may contain tobacco.
Cancer-causing compounds can be found in betel quid and areca nuts. Oral cancer is more common in adults who chew betel quid or areca nut, particularly in the inner lining of the cheeks and lips.
Long-Term Sun Exposure
Another oral cancer cause is excessive sun exposure without the use of sun protection. People who work outside and are exposed to the sun for lengthy periods are more likely to develop mouth cancer. Limit your risk to sunshine and other UV (ultraviolet) rays to lower your risk of oral cancer. If you can’t avoid being outside, make sure to wear appropriate protection, such as sunscreen and a hat.
Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Infection
According to research, infection with the HPV virus has been linked to an increased risk of mouth cancer. The number of oral cancers associated with HPV has increased dramatically in recent decades, with some strains of HPV infection resulting in throat cancer. People with HPV-related oral malignancies are unlikely to be smokers or drinkers, and their prognosis is usually favorable.
Poor Oral Hygiene
Oral cavity cancer can be elevated if people don’t get regular dental care and don’t practice good oral hygiene. Oral cancer is more likely in persons with poor dental health, especially those who consume alcohol and tobacco. You can detect this kind of cancer early with regular checkups by a dentist or dental hygienist.
Speak With a Doctor
While there is no way to prevent oral cancer fully, there are ways to reduce your risk. Creating good lifestyle choices will help you avoid certain risk factors for oral cancer. The most important thing a person can do to lower their risk of oral cancer is to stop using all tobacco products.
Identifying your risk factors and discussing them with your physician may assist you in making better lifestyle and health-care decisions. If you find yourself or a loved one needing compassionate care, reach out to us; at All American Hospice, we are dedicated to giving each patient the best support and services.