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Oral Cancer: Do You Know the Top Risk Factors?
Updated: 9/22/2009 10:49:53 AM

How much do you know about oral cancer?
Do you know anyone who has been diagnosed with oral cancer?
Does cancer run in your family?
These are questions you should ask yourself and quickly get answers to.
Keep reading to get more information about oral cancer, how many people the disease affects, who is at the most risk and how you can stay on top of your oral health.
How many people are affected by oral cancer?
It’s estimated that over 35,000 people in the U.S. were diagnosed with this disease in 2008 alone1.
What are the top oral cancer risk factors?
Men have twice the risk to develop oral cancer and men and women over the age of 50 face the greatest oral cancer risk2. In addition to these demographics of oral cancer patients, there are several lifestyle choices that contribute to risk for this disease.
Below are five of the top factors that contribute to oral cancer risk3.
  • Smoking
  • Smokeless tobacco
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Family history
  • Sun exposure
Despite these top risk factors, it is important to remember that while smokers and heavy drinkers are at a higher risk for developing the disease, 25% of people diagnosed with oral cancer do not smoke and drink only in moderation4.
How can I check for signs of oral cancer?
Dentists check for any irregular dental issues that may be signs of this disease during regular checkups and cleanings. If cost has kept you from making an appearance in your dentist’s office, click here to search for a discount dental plan in your area. These plans, alternatives to dental insurance, can help you save 10% to 60% on most dental procedures.

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