According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), oral cancer ranked #38 in the top ways Americans die.
Each year, the CDC breaks down data for the top 50 causes of death in America. And cancers of the lips, mouth and throat accounted for 10,126 of those deaths.
Oral cancer is any to cancer that develops in or on the mouth. Sometimes, it is called mouth cancer or oral cavity cancer. One of several types of cancers, it is grouped in the category of head and neck cancers.
Specifically, oral cancer can develop on the back of the throat, lips, inside the mouth, the salivary glands, esophagus, tonsils, soft tissues of the mouth or the tongue. If you have any of the following symptoms for more than two weeks, it’s strongly recommended to get checked out by your dentist.
As reported by the American Dental Association (ADA), there are a number of risk factors that increase the chance of oral cancer. These include:
- Men being 2 times more likely to get oral cancer compared to women.
- Smokers and alcohol drinkers who are older than 50 having an increased risk.
- Testing positive for the human papilloma virus (HPV) will also increase risk.
How can you protect yourself?
Regular dental check-ups can be significant in detecting cancer early. See more ways you can protect yourself from oral cancers here.