Health Ministry News –
April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month

About 54,540 people in the US will receive diagnoses of oral or oropharyngeal cancer in 2023. About 11,580 people will die from these cancers in 2023.
What causes oral cancer and who’s at risk of it? Oral cancer happens when cells in the tissues of your mouth begin to grow and divide uncontrollably. Squamous cells, thin flat cells that line the surfaces of your mouth, are the cell type most commonly found in oral cancer. There are several risk factors that are known to increase your risk of developing it. These are:
– Using tobacco: According to the ACS, using tobacco is the strongest risk factor for oral cancer. This includes: smoking, long-term exposure to secondhand smoke, using smokeless tobacco products, and chewing gutka, a product that contains the betel nut, spices, and tobacco•
– Consuming alcohol: Heavy drinkers have a 5 fold higher risk of getting oral and oropharyngeal cancers.
– Having human papillomavirus (HPV): Certain subtypes of HPV have associated with oral cancers.
– Being an older age: Most oral cancers happen after age 40.
– Being male: Men get oral cancer more often, possibly because of the fact that they may be more likely to use tobacco, alcohol, or both.
– Being exposed to ultraviolet (UV) light: UV light exposure, such as from excess sunlight or from tanning beds, can boost the risk of cancer developing on the lips.