Oral Cancer Risk Factors

Pittsburgh oral cancer screenings - DentonicsOral cancer can be life-threatening if not diagnosed early. By knowing the risk factors associated with oral cancer, you can avoid putting yourself in jeopardy.

The risk factors include:

  • Tobacco: about 80% of people with oral cancer are tobacco users, and that risk increases the more you are exposed.
  • Alcohol: about 70% of those diagnosed with oral cancer drink alcohol heavily. Users of both alcohol and tobacco are at a much higher risk then those who abstain from both.
  • Men are twice as likely as women to have oral cancer. This may be a result in higher alcohol and tobacco use among men.
  • Two thirds of people diagnosed are over 55 years old.
  • HPV, which is commonly associated with cervical cancer, has a risk of oral cancer. In fact, about 25% of patients with oral cancer have the same type of HPV as those with cervical cancer.
  • Exposure to sunlight increases risk, especially in the lips.
  • Betel quid, a leaf of the vine family with medicinal properties, is often filled with tobacco and chewed which increases your risk of oral cancer.
  • People who take immune suppression drugs, like after an organ transplant, have an increased risk.
  • Diets low in fruits and vegetables.
  • Rare conditions like Fanconi anemia and dyskeratosis congenita.

Early detection is very important in successfully treating oral cancer. At Dentonics, we perform oral cancer screenings using ViziLite during every routine examination and dental checkup. Vizilite can identify abnormal soft tissue cells before they become cancerous by utilizing low-intensity light and a special solution.

If you are in the Pittsburgh area and would like to schedule a dental checkup and oral cancer screening, please contact Dentonics using the form on this page or call 412-487-6910today.

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