Cancer is a word that nobody wants to hear or talk about. When you go to your dentist for a check-up, you are not only examined for cavities and gum disease but you are also being examined for oral cancer (cancer in or around the mouth). This is another reason why you should visit your dentist regularly. The key for surviving oral cancer is detecting the disease early.
What Causes Oral Cancer?
Tobacco use in all forms, including cigar smoking, cigarette smoking, pipe smoking or chewing tobacco can definitely increase your risk for oral cancer. More risk factors of oral cancer include: being a Male, family history of cancer and a previous oral cancer diagnosis.
Did you know that there are more risk factors for oral cancer that you might not have known about?
Here are 3 risk factors that are not well known:
1) HPV (sexually transmitted infection)- If you have the Human Papilloma Virus or HPV, then you are at risk for oral cancer- especially with some specific forms of HPV.
2) Alcohol abuse – If you drink a lot of alcohol, it increases your risk for oral cancer. If you drink lots of alcohol along with smoking a lot, your risk for oral cancer is even greater.
3) Age- The older you get, the higher your risk is for developing oral cancer especially in people over 40.
Have you recently been to your dentist to be screened for oral cancer? If not, call your dentist to schedule an exam, including an oral cancer screening. If your dentist finds any questionable areas, the sooner you find it and treat it, the better.
Posted on behalf of:
Dr. Farhan Qureshi, DDS
5206 Dawes Ave
Alexandria, VA 22311
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