According to WHO, oral cancer is the eighth most prevalent in the world, with more than 500,000 cases a year and a mortality of about 292,000 people. These figures respond (in most cases) to a late diagnosis.
When some of its symptoms are detected, there is usually metastasis, so that life expectancy is reduced considerably. Even so, it is possible to prevent it by avoiding its risk factors .
Oral Cancer Risk Factors
- Alcohol: 7 out of 10 diagnosed patients are heavy drinkers (according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), men with two or more alcoholic drinks a day are considered heavy drinkers, and women with more than one). If alcohol is added to tobacco, the chances of having oral cancer multiply.
- Tobacco: Smoking greatly increases the risk of oral cancer (in addition to other types of cancer, such as lung cancer). Tobacco causes havoc in the mouth , whether smoked or chewed, and cancer of the cheeks, lips and gums is one of the most serious problems it causes.
- HPV: Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted infection; is made up of more than 200 viruses, 40 of which are transmitted orally. Of these, the low and the high risk are different, the latter being the ones that cause cancer.
Since 2008, head and neck cancers (especially those occurring behind the tongue or around the tonsils) associated with Human Papilloma Virus have increased markedly. The dentist can help to quickly detect oral cancer by frequent check-ups. It is also important to use protection in sexual relations, as we have mentioned is a virus that is transmitted by this route and, given its incidence, also has been launched a vaccine for children between 11 and 12 years.
- Other factors; Gender and gender are other factors that also influence. Men would be more likely to get oral cancer because they consume more alcohol and tobacco. As for age, they are usually detected after 55 years, although in cases of oral cancer associated with HPV they are diagnosed more often in young people.
- Diet is also important , if we feed properly and we do not lack nutrients the risk of developing oral cancer, among other complications, decreases.