Who is at Risk for Oral Cancer?

Part of our job at our Bellevue dental clinic is to protect you from oral cancer. This cancer accounts for less than five percent of cancers in the United States, but has a surprisingly higher death rate than most of the more common cancers. You can work to avoid such cancer by living a healthy lifestyle, and being mindful of the following risk factors:

  • Men make up 70% of oral cancer cases, with men over fifty being at the greatest risk.
  • Users of tobacco have a considerably higher risk factor for oral cancer. This includes tobacco smoked as a cigarette, cigar, or pipe, as well as smokeless snuff or chewing tobacco.
  • Alcohol consumption contributes greatly to oral cancer risk, particularly if the drinker also smokes.
  • Excessive exposure to the sun can contribute to oral cancer developing on exposed regions of the lips.
  • A poor diet, particularly one deficient in vitamin A, can increase your oral cancer risk.
  • A family history of cancer can always be indicative of a higher cancer risk.

Most deaths caused by oral cancer could have been avoided if the condition was discovered earlier. If you’re a high risk for oral cancer, talk to your dentist and be sure to get your regular screenings.