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Oral Cancer: Do You Know The Risk Factors?

By Jill Hamilton on April 7, 2015 in Dental Health


delta dental of iowa - oral cancer risks

April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month. We want you to learn the basics so you can reduce your risk.

Oral cancer can develop in 2 places:

  • The mouth tissues (oral cavity)
  • The throat area behind the mouth (oropharynx)

Risk factors of oral cancer include:

  • Tobacco use – Tobacco is the greatest risk factor of oral cancer. It's also responsible for 22% of cancer deaths every year, worldwide. Approximately 90% of oral cancer patients use tobacco either in smoking or chewing forms.
  • Alcohol use – About 80% of patients with oral cancer consume alcohol. Drink in moderation to reduce your risk and keep your body healthy.
  • Exposure to sun – The sun's UV rays also contribute to lip cancer. Make sure to wear a moisturizing lip balm containing 15 SPF or higher.
  • HPV infection (Human Papillomavirus): HPV diagnosis can lead to oropharynx cancer, which is why it's key to visit your doctor regularly.

Maintain a healthy lifestyle by exercising regularly and eating nutritious foods. Preventive dental care is key too! Visit your dentist for oral cancer screenings. This April, let's pledge to fight oral cancer and reduce our risk…together.

Visit oralcancerfoundation.org to learn more.