Oral Cancer and Risk Factors

Oral Cancer is a collection of malignant cells that accumulate or form in the lips, oral cavity or the pharynx and oral area.

As screening for oral cancer improves, the number of deaths from oral cancer has decreased.

Oral cancer can develop in many areas within the oral cavity which may include:

  • The front of the tongue (first two thirds)
  • In the gums or gingiva
  • The bottom or floor of the mouth located under the tongue
  • The buccal mucosa which is known as the inside lining of the cheeks
  • The small area located behind the last molar or wisdom teeth known as the retromolar trigone
  • The roof of the mouth on the hard palate

Oral Cancer from Human papillomavirus (HPV) infections has increased and is often passed from one person to another (HPV 16 is one kind that goes from person to person).

Oral cancer is most commonly found in older adults and more often in people with African American descent than those of Caucasian descent.  Oral cancer is also found more commonly in males than in women.

The use of tobacco and alcohol have been proven to increase the risk of oral cancer development.

Some other risk factors for developing oral cancer are:

  • Cigarette Use
  • Cigar Use
  • Pipe Use
  • Smokeless and chewing tobacco
  • Severe Alcohol Use
  • HPV infections
  • Excessive sunlight or sun exposure can cause lip cancer
  • Being Male increases your risk


If you suspect that you may be at risk for oral cancer, consult with your local Abbotsford dental staff today.