Men face twice the risk of developing oral cancer as women, and men who are over age 50 face the greatest risk. Other risk factors include smoking or using tobacco, drinking too much alcohol and having a family history of oral cancer. But there are lifestyle changes you can make to reduce your risk. Here’s what you can do to lessen your chance of getting oral cancer.
What is oral cancer?
Oral cancer (mouth cancer) is the broad term for cancer that affects the inside of your mouth. Oral cancer can look like a common problem with your lips or in your mouth, like white patches or sores that bleed. The difference between a common problem and potential cancer is these changes don’t go away. Left untreated, oral cancer can spread throughout your mouth and throat to other areas of your head and neck. Approximately 63% of people with oral cavity cancer are alive five years after diagnosis.
Who is affected by oral cancer?
Overall, about 11 people in 100,000 will develop oral cancer during their lifetime. Men are more likely than women to develop oral cancer. People who are white are more likely to develop oral cancer than people who are Black.