Oral Cancer Risk Factors

Traditionally, choosing to drink alcohol and use tobacco regularly are the two biggest factors that increase a person’s risk for oral cancer.  When used in combination, this risk increase jumps by 37%.

Similarly, more and more younger patients (before age 62, the average age of diagnosis for traditional types of oral cancer) are being found to have HPV associated cancers of the head and neck.  The correlation between traditional types of oral cancer and HPV is currently being researched.  These HPV related cancers have a much better rate of survival and a much easier treatment regime.  “If the current trends continue HPV positive oropharyngeal cancers will become the major form of head and neck cancer and the leading HPV-associated cancer in the United States by 2020, surpassing cervical cancer.”

As the research in this area develops, scientists hope to reveal how effective the current HPV vaccines can be in preventing oral HPV infections.

American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons  – Surgical Update

Volume 24, Issue 1

The Journal of the American Dental Association November 2011 (pg 1239)

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