Dental Problems

Oral Cancer – Causes and Risk Factors

Tooth-DryOral cancer is the growth or abnormal cells such as tumors inside the mouth on the tongue, lip, cheeks, throat etc. There are many risk factors and causes of oral cancer. in this article, there is a brief discussion on the oral cancer causes and risk factors. Read on to know more.

Risk factors and causes of oral cancer

The exact oral cancer causes are not known, but there are some risk factors which can increase the risk of developing oral cancer. These risk factors include the following.

  1. Smoking cigarettes, cigars or pipes:

    This risk factor is one of the major one which causes oral cancer. Studies suggests that smoking cessation is one among the most effective prevention way.

  2. Smokeless tobacco use:

    Individuals who use smokeless tobacco are at a greater of developing oral cancer. Their oral cancer risk increases when they use smokeless tobacco such as snuff, leaf and plug.

  3. Excessive intake of alcohol:

    Excessive drinking of alcohol is another major risk factor which directly lead to oral cancer. In the developed countries, there are some studies conducted which suggest that the alcohol and tobacco together, increases the oral cancer risk by almost about 80% as they act synergistically.

  4. Exposure to sunlight:

    Exposure of skin to the harmful ultraviolet radiations without any proper protection with sunscreen increases the risk of developing lip cancer.

  5. A deficient diet:

    A diet deficient of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, iron, folate, and selenium can also increase the risk of developing oral cancer. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables with high-fiber and low-fat is recommended by doctors.

  6. Erythroplakia:

    It is a condition that is characterized by a red and raised patch which develops in the mouth. It is one of the cause of oral cancer.

  7. Leukoplakia:

    It is a condition that is characterized by a white patch which develops in the throat or mouth.

  8. Infection with viruses:

    The risk of oral cancer seems to increase with infection with viruses. There are several viruses which include the following.

    • HPV (Human papillomaviruses):

      HPV are a diverse group of viruses with DNA-based which affects the mucous membranes and skin within the body. Studies suggest that an infection with HPV 18 and 16 (sexually transmitted viruses) can increase the risk of oropharynx cancer and oral cavity cancer.

    • Epstein-Barr virus:

      This is a virus. The connection between oral cancer and Epstein-Barr virus is still being under study.

    • Herpes simplex virus:

      This is a vital infection and the connection between the oral cancer and virus is also under the study.

  9. Gastro-esophageal Reflux Disease:

    (GERD): Individuals with this type of digestive condition are at a higher risk of developing oral cancer. Because in this condition, the acid from the stomach reverts back up to the mouth through the esophagus (gullet). This causes an favorable environment for oral cancer development.

  10. Prior radiation treatment:

    The treatment with radiotherapy in the neck area or head are at a greater risk of developing oral cancer.

  11. Medical treatments:

    Patients who undergo the renal transplant are at a greater risk of developing lip cancer. The risk may be linked to an immuno-suppressant effect which can follow after the transplant.

  12. Ill-fitting denture and poor oral hygiene:

    These 2 factors can also increase the risk of oral cancer development when associated with alcohol consumption and tobacco use, offering a favorable environment for the tumors development.

  13. Exposure to certain chemicals:

    In some cases, exposure of certain chemicals, especially sulphuric acid, formaldehyde and asbestos also causes an increases risk of developing oral cancer.

  14. Regularly chewing the betel nuts:

    Betel nuts, from the palm tree are the popular ones in some of the south east Asia parts. Betel nuts are slightly addictive and they are also carcinogenic.

  15. Gender:

    Men are at a higher risk for developing oral cancer than women.

  16. Race:

    African Americans are at a greater risk for developing oral cancer than Caucasians.

  17. Age:

    Men above 40 years of age are at a greater risk of developing oral cancer.

The above listed ones are the

oral cancer causes and risk factors

. Thus, individuals must avoid these conditions such as use of tobacco, alcohol consumption, etc and have a good oral hygiene to prevent the development of oral cancer.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *