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Senior Citizen's Guide to Cleveland

Early Screenings for Oral Cancer

Oral Cancer

Oral cancer is cancerous tissue that develops anywhere in the mouth and is actually part of a group of cancers called throat and neck cancers.

Risk Factors for Oral Cancer

Sometimes there is no explanation as to why one person gets oral cancer and another does not, however below you will find factors that significantly increase your risk of oral cancer:

Tobacco and Alcohol

The majority of cases of oral cancer are related to tobacco and alcohol use. Approximately 90% of people with mouth cancer are tobacco users. Smokers are 6 times more likely than nonsmokers to develop mouth cancer. Those who drink alcohol are also 6 times more likely than those that don’t drink to develop mouth cancer. Those that smoke and drink are 15 times more likely to develop mouth cancer.

Sun Exposure

Exposure to the sun can give you lip cancer, although the use of sunscreens and hats with a brim are helpful in prevention.

History of throat or neck cancer

People who have had another form of throat or neck cancer are more likely to develop a second cancer in the region.

HPV (Human Papilloma Virus)

The most sexually transmitted virus in the US is now one of the primary risk factors.

Importance of Early Detection

Mouth cancers have a higher percentage of deaths per number of cases than breast cancer, melanoma and cervical cancer. Overall survival rate is 50%, but survival rates within stage 1 oral cancer are 90%, thus early detection is important. Visit your dentist regularly for checkups, especially if you have any of the risk factors.

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