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Patient Area

Patient Area

Identifying the Risks


Anyone can get oral cancer, which includes cancer of the mouth, lip and throat, certain factors can increase your risk:


  • Smoking tobacco - 5x – 9x increased risk
  • Smokeless tobacco - 75% of daily users develop lesions
  • Alcohol use - 9x – 30x increase risk (more than 1 drink/day for women; more than 2 drinks/day for men)
  • Sexual activity - >50% of oral cancers are related to Human Papillomavirus (HPV)

Risk factors in non-smokers:

  • Second hand smoke (SHS)
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV)
  • Poor diet
  • Occupational exposures
  • Socioeconomic status (SES0)
  • Immunodeficiency
  • Mouthwash (alcohol-based) use
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease
  • Oral lichen planus

Potential mouth and throat cancer symptoms:

  • Sore throat
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Ear pain
  • Changes in voice or speech
  • Sore in mouth greater than 3 weeks (painful / non-painful)
  • Bad breath
  • Lump in neck
  • Lump in mouth or throat
  • Sense of something stuck in throat
  • Poorly fitting dentures / problems with teeth


Early diagnosis can DOUBLE YOUR CHANCES OF SURVIVAL.  Early detection is critical.