Dental Education Australia

Dental Education - Risk Factors of Oral Cancer

Risk factors include all things which increase the likelihood of developing a disease. There isn’t any question that specific behaviors may increase your chance of developing oral cancer. One of the greatest risk factors is the use of tobacco—this includes smoking cigars, cigarettes, pipes, or the use of chewing tobacco. Individuals who use large quantities of tobacco and those who consume volumes of alcohol are at a greater risk. Three out of four individuals who have been diagnosed with oral cancer have used alcohol, tobacco, or both, according to the National Cancer Institute.

Consistent smoking boosts the risk of developing cancer of the lungs; thus smoking is also a risk factor for lung cancer.

Smoking – reports show that a person who smokes forty cigarettes per day has a risk 5 times greater than non-smokers of developing oral cancer.

• Tobacco (chewing)

• Snorting tobacco

• Both consistent and heavy alcohol intake - someone drinking about thirty pints of beer a week possesses a risk 5 times greater than the teetotaler or someone who drinks on moderation.

• Heavy smoking mixed with heavy alcohol consumption will have a synergistic effect. An individual who consumes alcohol and smokes heavily has a significantly greater risk of developing oral cancer when compared with others. Someone who smokes forty PLUS cigarettes a day and consumes about thirty pints of beer per week will be thirty-eight times more likely to develop oral cancer as those who don’t adopt the same habits.

• Too much exposure to the sun on the lips, as well as the use of sunbeds and sunlamps.

• Diet – Individuals who consume a lot of red meat, fried foods and processed meat and foods are more likely to develop oral cancer than other people.

• Gastroesophageal reflux disorder - Individuals who have this condition of the digestive system in which food, liquid, and acid from your stomach will leak backwards into the esophagus possess a greater risk of oral cancer.

• Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection.

• Prior oral cancer diagnosis and previous radiotherapy (radiation treatment) to the head and/or neck region.

• Consistently chewing on betel nuts - Such nuts, from betel palm trees, are trendy in some parts of Asia (south east region). They are somewhat addictive and also are carcinogenic.

• Specific chemical exposure - particularly formaldehyde, sulphuric acid, as well as asbestos.

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