The longer you use tobacco and the more you use, the greater your risk. Infection with HPV-16 increases the risk of oral cancer. Tobacco smoke from cigarettes, cigars, or pipes can cause cancers anywhere in the mouth or throat. People who are over the age of 60 have the highest incidence of oral cancer. Together, we’re making a difference – and you can, too. If you drink, you are at risk for oral cancer. Atlanta, Ga: American Cancer Society; 2018. Tobacco is believed by many experts to be the most notable risk factor of oral cancer, and there seems to be a strong correlation between the use of tobacco in any form and cancer of the cheeks, gums, lips, head and neck. It can also cause cancers of the larynx (voice box), lungs, esophagus (swallowing tube), kidneys, bladder, and many other organs. For this reason, it’s important to know your risk factors and to take action on those that can be modified. Oral Oncol. We couldn’t do what we do without our volunteers and donors. More men than women develop oral cancer, and it occurs more often in men of African descent. Several studies have found that a diet low in fruits and vegetables is linked with an increased risk of cancers of the oral cavity and oropharynx. 2017;93(1105):704-709. More men than women develop oral cancer, and it occurs more often in men of African descent. An inherited, or genetic, condition is passed from parents to their children through genes. with no history of alcohol abuse or tobacco use than they were in the past. The more you drink, the greater your risk. Tobacco is, probably, the most common risk factor for OC. These products also cause gum disease, destruction of the bone sockets around teeth, and tooth loss. Sun exposure increases the risk of developing lip cancer. The risk is especially high for people with heavy alcohol and tobacco use. Smokeless Tobacco (Snuff and Chewing Tobacco) Most cases of oral cancer occurred in patients over the age of 60, though you are considered at greater risk when you reach age 55. Oropharyngeal Cancer Treatment (Adult) (PDQ®)–Patient Version. One of the most important precautions that you can take for oral cancer is opting for regular oral cancer screening with your dentist, at least twice in a year. This is also a risk factor. At this time the US Food and Drug Administration has not approved a test for HPV infection of the mouth and throat. Oral and oropharyngeal cancers are twice as Tobacco As many as 80 percent of patients with oral cancers use some type of tobacco product. 2017;9:124. People with certain syndromes caused by inherited defects (mutations) in certain genes have a very high risk of mouth and throat cancer. The main risk factors of head and neck cancer worldwide are smoking and alcohol, as well as DNA oncogenic viruses and habits, such as betel nut. They're called papillomaviruses because some of them cause a type of growth called a papilloma. Cancer is undeniably a serious disease, with over one hundred variations. HPV is likely the cause of oral cancer that is not linked with tobacco or alcohol use. Using tobacco , including cigarettes, cigars, pipes, chewing tobacco, and snuff, is the single largest risk factor for head and neck cancer. Oral cancer is rare in children and young adults. GVHD occurs when the donor stem cells recognize the patient’s cells as foreign and launch an attack against them. Betel quid and areca nut contain cancer-causing substances. Excessive sun exposure to your lips 4. A risk factor is something that increases the risk of developing cancer. © 2021 American Cancer Society, Inc. All rights reserved. Research shows around 30 out of 100 (30%) of mouth and oropharyngeal cancers are caused by drinking alcohol. People who chew betel quid or areca nut have a higher risk of developing oral cancer, especially in the inner lining of the cheeks and lips. Most people with oral cavity and oropharyngeal cancers use tobacco, and the risk of developing these cancers is related to how much and how long they smoked or chewed. January 12, 2018. December 1, 2016. in particular an increase in oral sex. Alcohol is one of the main risk factors for oral cancer. People with weakened immune systems are also more likely to get an HPV infection, which increases the risk for oral cancer. A family history of certain cancers can be a sign of a possible inherited cancer syndrome. But many studies have found no increased risk in denture wearers overall. Poor oral hygiene, which can lead to tooth loss, may also be linked to these cancers. Pipe smoking is linked to a very high risk for cancer in the part of the lips that touch the pipe stem. Smoking. People with the following inherited conditions have a higher risk of developing precancerous changes in the mouth and oral cancer. We will reply by email or phone if you leave us your details. The worst part about oral cancer, just like most other forms of cancer, is the fact that you don’t get to spot the symptoms until it’s too late. In the worldwide strategies to decrease … A few studies found that having dentures that don’t fit properly can increase the risk for oral cancer. Accessed at www.cancer.gov/types/head-and-neck/patient/adult/lip-mouth-treatment-pdq on February 22, 2018. Oral cancer is most prevalent among those over 55. Continuing to smoke after treatment for oral cancer increases the risk of developing a second oral cancer. Can Oral Cavity and Oropharyngeal Cancers Be Prevented? We’ve invested more than $4.9 billion in cancer research since 1946, all to find more – and better – treatments, uncover factors that may cause cancer, and improve cancer patients’ quality of life. For reprint requests, please see our Content Usage Policy. Oral sex and risk of oral cancer: a meta-analysis of observational studies. Alterations in oral bacterial communities are associated with risk factors for oral and oropharyngeal cancer. Risk Factors The use of tobacco and alcohol are the two most important risk factors for cancer of the mouth. Some factors influence risk more than others. The habit is a very common one, especially on the Indian Sub-continent and Southeast Asia where it is responsible for 40% of oral cancers. A severe case may slightly increase the risk of oral cancer. Please call us for help quitting tobacco or see How to Quit Smoking or Smokeless Tobacco for more information. Risk factors are generally listed in order from most to least important. Studies show that people with poor oral health have a higher risk of developing oral cancer. Studying this possible link is complicated by the fact that smokers and frequent drinkers (who already have an increased risk of these cancers) are more likely to use mouthwash than people who neither smoke nor drink. Papillomas are not cancers, and are more commonly called warts. Our doctors provide the answer. Thus, it’s important to avoid risk factors to prevent oral cancer altogether. Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) is a condition that sometimes occurs after a stem cell transplant. Infection with HPV-18 may also increase the risk. We can even find you a free ride to treatment or a free place to stay when treatment is far from home. January 29, 2018. The risk of developing oral cancer increases with age and is greatest after 45 years of age. For example, exposing skin to strong sunlight is a risk factor for skin cancer. If you […] Poorly fitting dentures can tend to trap agents that have been proven to cause oral cancer, such as alcohol and tobacco particles, so denture wearers should have them checked by a dentist regularly to ensure a good fit. GVHD can affect many tissues of the body, including those in the mouth. What steps can you take to lessen your chances to developing oral cancer? Drinking alcohol increases your risk of mouth and oropharyngeal cancer. There is convincing evidence that the following factors increase your risk for oral cancer. What Causes Oral Cavity and Oropharyngeal Cancers? Or write us. A risk factor for developing oral cancer is the use of smoking tobacco products, including cigarettes, cigars, and/or pipes. Subsequently, most dentists encourage patients who smoke to try and defeat the ugly habit. One of the types of cancers that many family caregivers worry about is oral cancer. The higher risk disappears after the woman stops taking oral contraceptives. Cancer is one of the biggest concerns for the elderly amongst family caregivers. National Cancer Institute. Accessed at https://seer.cancer.gov/statfacts/html/oralcav.html on February 22, 2018. Some, such as your age or race, can’t be changed. However, in the last decade an increase was observed in the percentage of young patients, especially patients with tongue cancer. Clin Epigenetics. Alcohol . Smoking is the single most important risk factor for oral cancer. They can also infect the mouth and throat. (National Cancer Institute) Symptoms. Oral cancer is rare in children and young adults. These develop at a much earlier age than oral cancer caused by other risk factors. Betel quid and tobacco are often chewed together, or betel quid may contain tobacco. The American Cancer Society is a qualified 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization. They can infect the sexual organs (the penis in men or the vulva, vagina and cervix in women), the rectum and the anus. Tobacco and alcohol use are 2 of the strongest risk factors for oral cavity and oropharyngeal cancers. Smoking or using tobacco products increases the risk of oral cancer, especially if combined with high alcohol consumption. Various studies have clearly linked cigarette smoking to cancers of the oral cavity. They aren’t cancer, but they can sometimes become oral cancer if they aren’t treated. Gupta PC, Murti PR, Bhonsle RB, Mehta FS, Pindborg JJ. Almost 50% of oral cancer patients have been noted to reach the final stages of the disease in hospitals and health care centres (Shrivastava et al., 2013). Some studies have suggested that mouthwash with a high alcohol content might be linked to a higher risk of oral and oropharyngeal cancers. Not having any risk factors doesn't mean that you won't get it, either. It isn’t known whether or not the following factors are linked with oral cancer. A sexually transmitted virus called human papillomavirus (HPV) 5. People who chew betel quid or gutka have an increased risk of cancer of the mouth. From basic information about cancer and its causes to in-depth information on specific cancer types – including risk factors, early detection, diagnosis, and treatment options – you’ll find it here. How common is oral cancer in nonsmokers. Tobacco and alcohol use are 2 of the strongest risk factors for oral cavity and oropharyngeal cancers. 2. Overall survival may also be affected. CCS adapting to COVID-19 realities to support Canadians during and after the pandemic. The risk of oral cancer among people with Fanconi anemia is up to 500 times higher than the general population. But recent research has questioned these results. Sci Rep. 2017;7(1):17686. Smoking is a risk factor for many cancers. 2015;8(3):126-133. Farquhar DR, Divaris K, Mazul AL, et al. Lip and Oral Cavity Cancer Treatment (Adult) (PDQ®)–Patient Version. Your immune system can be weakened after an organ transplant or treatment for an immune system disease. It may be that researchers can’t show a definite link or that studies have had different results. Tobacco and alcohol are the most important risk factors for oral cancer. But this may change as HPV-linked cancers become more common. Fanconi anemia is a rare genetic condition that affects the bone marrow so it can’t make enough red blood cells, white blood cells or platelets. Even if someone does have risk factors, it's impossible to know for sure how much they contributed to causing the cancer. Cancer Information, Answers, and Hope. Cancer Facts & Figures 2018. But risk factors don't tell us everything. Oral cavity and oropharyngeal cancers are more common in people who have a weak immune system. Infection with certain types of HPV can cause some forms of cancer, including cancers of the penis, cervix, vulva, vagina, anus, mouth, and throat. If we are not able to reach you by phone, we will leave a voicemail message. Using smokeless tobacco products is linked with cancer of the gums and inner lining of the cheeks and lips because the tobacco regularly touches these areas. The higher risk may be due to taking drugs that suppress your immune system. Shah A, Malik A, Garg A, et al. Substances like carotenoids, which are common in vegetables and fruit, are linked with a lower risk of oral cancer. Another risk factor is excessive exposure to the sun, especially from a young age. Cancers of the oral cavity and oropharynx usually take many years to develop, so they're not common in young people. Li S, Ni XB, Xu C, et al. SCC is the most common type of oral cancer. Most patients with these cancers are older than 55 when the cancers are first found. It’s estimated that approximately 51,540 people will be diagnosed with oral cancer and cancers of the throat, tonsils and back of the tongue in 2018. This is especially true for people who work in the sun for long periods of time, such as farmers. Studies have suggested the overall health of the mouth, teeth, and gums may impact oral cavity and oropharyngeal cancer risk because of changes in the normal bacteria in the mouth. The different types of HPV are usually given a number to identify them. Medical research and clinical studies have found that certain risk factors may increase the chance of getting oral cancer. Cigarette smoking is a major cause of cancers of the oral cavity in the United States. Drinking alcohol increases the risk of developing oral cavity and oropharyngeal cancers. People with poor oral health may have several missing teeth, bleeding gums or chronic infections from bacteria and viruses like HPV. Smoking cigarettes, cigars or pipes increases the risk for oral cancer. Fanconi anemia is a blood condition caused by inherited abnormalities in several genes. Some risk factors for oral cancer, such as being male or aging, are not preventable. However, some lifestyle factors that can reduce the risk of oral cancer … More research is needed to clarify the role of these factors for oral cancer. Our team of expert journalists brings you all angles of the cancer story – from breaking news and survivor stories to in-depth insights into cutting-edge research. Tobacco is the leading cause of cancer worldwide 4 and a well-established risk factor for oral SCC. > References : 1. Learn more about these partnerships and how you too can join us in our mission to save lives, celebrate lives, and lead the fight for a world without cancer. Help make it a reality. National Cancer Institute. It’s also important to follow recommended screening guidelines, which can help detect certain cancers early. , pipes, chewing tobacco ) cancer, and it occurs more risk factors of oral cancer in of! 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