September 22, 2016
This year, over 50,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral or throat cancer. These cancers are known to have a higher death rate than other common cancers including testicular cancer and skin cancers. The reason the death rate for oral and throat cancers are so much higher is because oral and throat cancers are relatively painless in early stages and can go easily undetected. This allows the cancer to spread and become more aggressive. However, if caught early, the survival rate increases to 80+%.
Want to know if you’re at risk of developing oral or throat cancer? Here are the five factors that are most likely to increase your risk.
Frequently smoking tobacco products like cigarettes, cigars, a pipe, and/or chewing tobacco can significantly elevate your risk of developing oral cancer.
According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, Alcohol abuse (more than 21 drinks in one week) is the second largest risk factor for the development of oral cancer.
In addition to increasing your risk of skin cancer, those who spend lots oftime outdoors and do not use proper protection have a greater risk of developing lip cancer.
Exposure to the human papillomavirus (HPV) is known to increase your chances of developing oral cancer.
Unfortunately, oral cancer typically affects people over the age of 40. This is usually because of their longer exposure to other risk factors listed above.
Studies have found that oral cancer affects men twice as often as it does women.
If you fall into any of the categories above, it is critical that you visit your dentist regularly as they will be able to detect the signs of oral and throat cancer early on. If you notice any of the symptoms below, contact your dentist immediately.