Oral Cancer Risk Factors

Oral Cancer Risk Factors You Need to Know

Some people are genetically more susceptible to different diseases or cancers. There are also multiple external risk factors such as diet, exercise, and daily habits that can influence the likelihood of developing a disease. One way to spot oral cancer early is during your regular check-ups at Meadowbrook Family Dental. Dr. Lau will examine your mouth and throat for oral cancers. Additionally, it is important to be aware of common risk factors. A few are listed below.


Oral cancers are more common in older adults because the development of the cancer is typically a lengthy process. The average age that someone develops oral cancer may decrease as HPV related oral cancers become more common.   


Men are two times more likely to get oral cancer than women. Although, men are more likely to engage in risk factors such as using alcohol and tobacco than women.

Oral Cancer Risk Factors

Tobacco Use

The use of tobacco products is a very high-risk factor related to developing oral cancer. Unfortunately, there is no way to safely use tobacco without the risk of developing oral cancer. Among other chemicals, nitrosamines have been directly linked to the risk of cancer. Additionally, drinking and smoking together can increase your risk of developing oral cancer about 100 times more than people who do not smoke or drink. Quitting all forms of tobacco is the only way to reduce this risk factor associated with oral cancer.

Human Papillomavirus (HPV)

HPV is divided into 150 distinct types of viruses categorized by numbers. The most common throat cancer distinction is HPV16. Many people are unaware that they have HPV because the symptoms can go unnoticed until the cancer development. In the past few decades, there was a rise in HPV cases with no past tobacco or alcohol history. Some professionals believe that this may be related to an increase in sexual encounters, including oral sex.

Conclusion – Oral Cancer

Knowing the risk factors of oral cancers is the first step in proper prevention. Avoid activities such as excessive sunlight, poor diet, consumption of alcohol and tobacco, and sexual activities to reduce your risk. For more information about oral cancer or to schedule a screening, contact Meadowbrook Family Dental at (916)-912-4126 today!


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