A risk factor is something that can increase your odds of ending up with an ailment or a disease. Some risk factors are preventable, while others are not. In this article, we will discuss some of the most common preventable and non-preventable risk factors for oral cancer, or cancer of the mouth.

Let’s begin with oral cancer risk factors that cannot be prevented:

Age

The older you get, the higher your risk of developing oral cancer. Experts say that individuals who are over 45 years old are the ones that are commonly diagnosed with oral cancer.

Gender

Men are likelier to suffer from oral cancer than women. In fact, about 2/3 of all people diagnosed with oral cancer are men.

Race

According to doctors, African-Americans are at higher risk of having oral cancer than anyone else on the planet.

Family History

It is said that someone who has a first-degree family member diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma or SCC, which is the most common form of oral cancer, may end up battling oral cancer, too. Just like most other types of cancer out there, oral cancer can be inherited.

Previous Cancer

A person who used to have oral cancer is at risk of developing it once again, experts say.

Clearly, there’s nothing that you can do to change the above mentioned risk factors. It’s a good idea for you to talk with your doctor if you have one or many of these risk factors so that you may know how you can keep oral cancer at bay.

Now let’s take a look at some preventable oral cancer risk factors:

Smoking

Oral cancer is just one of the many serious medical conditions that smokers may end up with. The use of tobacco in any form can actually increase one’s risk of ending up with oral cancer.

Drinking

Excessive intake of alcohol can endanger the health, and that’s no secret. One of the most serious health problems that a person who drinks alcohol excessively may end up with is oral cancer. Someone who combines cigarette smoking with too much alcohol intake is especially at risk!

Too Much Sun

It’s not just skin cancer that may show up due to excessive sun exposure, but also oral cancer, in particular the kind that affects the lips.

Poor Oral Hygiene

Experts say that having poor oral hygiene and not visiting the dentist often can increase one’s risk of oral cancer.

Ill-Fitting Dentures

Speaking of visiting the dentist, if you are wearing dentures and they don’t fit properly, make sure that you inform your dentist about it as it may actually put you at risk of having oral cancer. In addition, you should remove your dentures at night and clean them on a regular basis, too.

Hot Drinks

Doctors say that you should avoid consuming very hot beverages as it’s considered as a risk factor for oral cancer.

Unhealthy Eating

A diet that’s lacking in fresh fruits and vegetables may also put a person at risk of ending up with oral cancer one day. That’s because he or she is not supplying the body with antioxidants capable of fighting off cancer.

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