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Cancer Risk Factors & Warning signs


Risk Factors & Warning Signs


  Head and neck cancer is related substantially to smoking and alcohol.  Approximately 90% of those diagnosed with oral or pharyngeal cancer (including cancer of the mouth, tongue, lips, throat, parts of the nose and larynx) are tobacco users.


  Heavy, regular alcohol consumption is also a risk factor for oral and oro-pharyngeal cancer.  It is estimated that 75% - 80% of those with oral/oro-pharyngeal cancer drink alcohol frequently.  Like smokers, people who drink a lot of alcohol on a regular basis are at least six times more likely to get oral/oro-pharyngeal cancer than non-drinkers.  Of note is that the risk for mouth cancer that each substance represents is compounded when both tobacco and alcohol are used together.


Warning Signs and Symptoms of Oral Cancer

  • Sores in the mouth or on the lips that don’t heal despite treatment for at least two weeks.

  • A painless white or red patch on the lining of the mouth which does not subside.

  • A painless lump in the mouth, throat, tongue or neck.

  • A sore throat that doesn’t go away within the normal period of time.

  • Increasing difficulty with swallowing or chewing without any obvious cause.


Copyright N Kalavrezos 2013

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