Over 48,000 people are diagnosed with oral cancer each year, and that number is continually growing. Smokers and tobacco users are no longer the only ones affected by oral cancer; young people are also acquiring this disease as it is linked to the HPV virus. It is important to visit your dentist regularly to be screened for this cancer. The sooner it is caught the higher the chance of surviving the disease. Please don’t wait to be screened!
WHAT ARE THE RISK FACTORS OF DEVELOPING ORAL CANCER?
Cancer can affect people at any age. Oral cancer is not any different, but there are some factors that can produce a higher risk of being diagnosed. These circumstances are:
- Family history of oral cancer
- Tobacco use
- Over 55 years old
- Continuous sun exposure
Just because any of the above circumstances apply to you does not automatically mean you have or will get oral cancer. If none of the risks apply to you, you may still get oral cancer. The cause of this disease is still not determined, but you can protect yourself by routinely visiting the dentist at least twice a year.