Tobacco use leads to many significant health risks. One of them is skyrocketing your chances of developing oral cancer. This form of cancer targets the interior structures of the mouth. But, it isn’t limited to there. It can also involve the lips, throat, tongue, salivary glands, larynx, pharynx and sinuses.
While tobacco use is the overwhelming cause of oral cancer, other lifestyle choices can also increase a person’s risk. A study conducted by the Mouth Cancer Foundation found that 90 percent of patients who had oral cancer consumed tobacco in some form. What’s more, in combination with another lifestyle choice, drinking alcohol, the risks multiply.
Oral cancer statistics
In the U.S., an estimated 53,260 adults will have a diagnosis for some form of oral cancer. The rate is twice as high in men, among whom it is the eighth most common type of the disease.
The average age of diagnosis is 62. However, around 25 percent of cases occur in people under the age of 55. The disease is rarely present in young adults or children.
Reports also show that around 9,750 people die from this disease every year in America. Approximately 4 percent of all cancers confirmed are oral related, with 2.2 percent of all deaths linked directly to these types.
Oral Cancer Prevention Tips
A healthy lifestyle and quitting smoking and alcohol can drastically reduce the chances of developing oral cancer. It’s also imperative to maintain a balanced diet, exercise regularly and drink plenty of water to help your risks remain low.
Alongside knowing the recommended lifestyle changes, it’s also crucial for you to recognize the possible warning signs of oral cancer. Here are a few to check for:
- A lump in your throat
- Numbness, tenderness or pain in your mouth and tongue
- A mouth sore that won’t heal
- Difficulty moving your jaw and tongue with chewing, speaking or swallowing
- Loose teeth with no known dental issues
- An ongoing bout of sore throat
If you have any of these symptoms, schedule an Oral Cancer Screening appointment with Dr. William Campbell, the leading Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon in the Columbus, GA and Phenix City metro area. Any member of our helpful Campbell Oral Surgery & Dental Implant Center staff will be happy to schedule your visit and address any questions or concerns you may have. Call us at 706-324-6106 or reach us through the contact form on our website. We look forward to assisting you with your oral health care.