Oral cancer rates are reaching disturbingly high levels. Today, oral cancer is reportedly more common among women than cervical cancer, accounting for three times as many deaths as cervical cancer. Oral cancer is also believed to be responsible for more deaths than stomach, brain and ovary cancers. In the UK alone, oral cancer cases have increased by more than 25% in the last decade, while in Canada, oral cancer is one of the most common cancers in the population.
Unfortunately, many people assume that smoking is the only cause of oral cancer. As a result, most non-smokers mistakenly believe that they are safe from oral cancer. However, drinking alcohol can also lead to oral cancer, and roughly 70% of oral cancer patients are heavy drinkers.
7 factors that can contribute to oral cancer
- Smoking is known to increase your risks, but in fact all tobacco products can lead to oral cancer. This means that as well as smokers, people that chew tobacco are at risk of developing this cancer.
- Heavy alcohol use also contributes to oral cancer risks, especially when combined with smoking. The heavier your alcohol consumption, the more likely you are to develop oral cancer.
- The risk of developing oral cancer increases with age.
- In the past, men have been at higher risk of developing oral cancer than women. However, while men are still at the highest risk, cases of oral cancer among women are increasing at alarmingly high rates
- Recent research has connected Human Papillomavaius Virus (HPV), with oral cancers. HPV is a sexually transmitted disease than can be transmitted through oral sex.
- Exposure to the sun can also contribute to the development of oral cancer.
- A poor diet can also lead to oral cancer. To decrease your risk of developing oral cancer, you should try to eat the recommended portions of fruits and vegetables.