You’ll realize that oral cancer is a condition that’s not often discussed or written about. The reason to this is that it seems to be a relatively rare condition with very few cases reported. It’s, however, important to note that oral cancer often goes unnoticed until when it’s too late. Some forms of oral cancer are deadly. As a matter of fact, nearly ten thousand people across the United States die every year as a result of this condition. It’s, therefore, important to learn more about this condition.
What are the common risk factors for Oral Cancer?
When this condition is not brought to the attention of a healthcare professional or a dentist in time, it leads to death. There has been a high mortality rate for individuals with this condition. According to health professionals as well as dentists, oral areas that are prone to this type of cancer include the floor and roof of your mouth, gums, the tongue, the lips, and the inside part of your cheeks (buccal mucosa).
While it’s true that anyone is at risk of getting oral cancer, some people are at a higher risk than others. According to dentists, individuals who love smoking and using any form of tobacco are at an increased risk of getting oral cancer. Other groups include:
- Individuals with poor Diet intake
- Those who’re regularly exposed to secondhand smoke
- Those who drink alcohol
- Individuals diagnosed with Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
- Those suffering from genetic conditions like Fanconi anemia
According to statistics, the more an individual drinks alcohol, the higher the risk of developing a cancerous growth in his mouth. Strong spirits have been reported to be a leading factor in the onset of oral cancers. Those who consume alcohol and smoke tobacco are at a much higher risk of oral cancers.
What should I do if am in the High-risk category?
Even if you don’t belong to any of the mentioned high-risk categories, you can help friends and family members you know are there. Despite being a deadly condition, oral cancer can be treated if found early. Note that oral cancer spreads through the rampant division of cells that contain mutated genes. The moment your DNA fails or cannot control the division of the cells is when a lump or tumor develops.
When it’s diagnosed at this stage, the condition can be treated. That’s the reason why it’s recommended to go for dental cleaning and exam once in every six months. A dental exam involves screening procedures which can help identify any issues at an early stage.