Risk Factors - Oral (Mouth) Cancers

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Oral cancer Risk-Factors

What Causes oral cancers?

Mouth cancer can affect anyone, but using tobacco products and regularly drinking too much alcohol greatly increase your chances.

  • Tobacco: Studies have shown that as many as eight in ten people with mouth cancer are tobacco users. Tobacco includes both smoking and smokeless tobacco (snuff and chewing tobacco).
  • Alcohol: Excessive consumption of alcohol is the other major risk factor for mouth cancer besides tobacco use.
  • Tobacco and alcohol: The combination of tobacco and alcohol increases the risk for mouth cancer even further than either two risk factors alone. Studies have shown that people who use tobacco and alcohol together have a substantially greater risk for mouth cancer than people who don’t smoke or drink. According to the studies, nicotine and alcohol together account for around 80 percent of mouth cancers.
  • Betel quid Paan Masala and gutka
  • Constant trauma/irritation by sharp teeth or dentures or dental implants
  • Excessive spicy/hot/smoked food habits
  • Oral health: Poor oral hygiene and missing teeth may be weak risk factors for cancers of the oral cavity.
  • Gender: Mouth cancer is nearly twice as common in men as in women, mainly because men have higher rates of tobacco and alcohol use.
  • Age: Cancers of the mouth usually take many years to develop, so they are not common in young people. Most people are over 40 when cancer is first found in the mouth. Though, the times are changing and many young people in india succumb to mouth cancers these days.
  • Ultraviolet light: Lip and skin cancers are more common in people who spend time in the sun.
  • Infection with the sexually transmitted disease: human papillomavirus (HPV)

Other risk factors for mouth cancer include:

  • A diet low in fruits and vegetables
  • A weakened immune system
  • Lichen planus, a disease that often affects the skin
  • Certain genetic syndromes, such as Fanconi anemia and dyskeratosis congenital

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