Smoking is Only One Risk Factor for Oral Cancer - What Are Others?
Posted on 11/20/2019 by Clackamas Oral Surgery Office
Smokers are likelier to suffer from oral cancer as compared to non-smokers. However, there are other risk factors to be aware of. Knowledge of these can help us take timely preventative and corrective actions to bring down the risk for us.
Oral Cancer Risk Factors Apart from Smoking
Gender is a big factor with respect to oral cancer. Men are twice as likely to suffer from this cancer. Alcohol and tobacco abuse may be reasons for the skew. Age is another issue. The risk increases as we age. The average age at which oral cancer is diagnosed is sixty-two. Prolonged exposure to sunlight puts you at risk of lip cancer. It's a good reason to avoid ultraviolet lights that are used, for example, with indoor tanning. A diet deficient in fruits and vegetables can trigger oral malignancies.
Some people are genetically programmed to be at higher risk. A person suffering from Fanconi anemia, a genetic disorder, is 500 times likelier to get oral cancer as compared to a person who does not have this genetic disorder. Aplastic anemia and oral cancer are both likely to be caused by dyskeratosis anemia, a genetic disorder.
When it comes to lifestyle-related causes, we know that tobacco use tops the list of such causes. Eight out of ten subjects with oral cancers are abusers of tobacco in some form or the other. Inveterate alcohol abusers are also at a grave risk of oral cancer. A person abusing both tobacco and alcohol is at a very high risk of suffering from some form of oral cancer.
HPV (Human papillomavirus) infections of the mouth may lead to oral cancer. Such infections are not accompanied by any symptoms. Lichen planus is a condition that often affects people in their middle age. It is characterized by white lines in the mouth or throat. Sometimes, it may lead to a rash that itches. This condition can lead to oral cancer too.
If you're a smoker or you think any of the above symptoms are present with you, then do not waste time. We can help you make the right decisions about your health. Get in touch with us. Call now.