Who gets oral cancer and what are the risk factors for oral cancer?
According to the American Cancer Society, men face twice the risk of developing oral cancer as women, and men who are over age 50 face the greatest risk. The rate of development of cancer of the oral cavity and pharynx began to decline in the late 1970s and has continued to decline throughout the 1990s in both African Americans, and white males and females. Risk factors for the development of oral cancer include: • Cigarette, cigar, or pipe smoking – Smokers are six times more likely than non-smokers to develop oral cancers. • Use of smokeless tobacco products (for example, dip, snuff, or chewing tobacco) – Use of these products increase the risk of cancers of the cheek, gums, and lining of the lips. • Excessive consumption of alcohol – Oral cancers are about six times more common in drinkers than in non-drinkers. • Family history of cancer • Excessive exposure to the sun – especially at a young age It is important to note that more than 25% of all oral cancers occur in people who do n