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A 40-year-old member asked:

How do you get oral cancer?

7 doctor answers27 doctors weighed in
Dr. Daniel Sampson
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery 26 years experience
Many ways: The known risk factors for oral cancer are tobacco use (whether cigarettes, cigars or smokeless tobacco), alcohol use, and infection with certain strains of human papilloma virus. Genetics may play a role in some people.
Dr. Richard Charmoy
Dentistry 36 years experience
Many ways: The most common way is being or having been a smoker of tobacco chewer. Although sometime many cases appear on the tongue on people who never smoked. These usually have metastasized from other sites.
Dr. James Urbanic
Radiation Oncology 18 years experience
although i agree that the most common type is from smoking or tobacco chewing, I should clarify that a metastasis from another site to the tongue is rare. The other developing cause of base of tongue cancer in non-smokers is HPV virus infection. This is becoming more common in younger non-smoking head and neck cancer patients and is likely related to oral sexual contact.
Jul 22, 2012
Dr. Dan Fisher
Dr. Dan Fisher commented
Internal Medicine 27 years experience
HIV and EBV as well, less commonly exposure to head / neck radiation and occupational exposure.
Jul 23, 2012
Dr. Richard Charmoy
Dentistry 36 years experience
Many ways: The most common way is being or having been a smoker of tobacco chewer. Although sometime many cases appear on the tongue on people who never smoked. These usually have metastasized from other sites. The hpv has caused a great increase in oral cancer. The younger generation needs to be educated about the hpv and oral cancer. The vaccine hasn't been out there that long.
Dr. James Wright
Dentistry 33 years experience
Several possibile: Oral sex, has become a major cause, due to the hpv virus. Hpv has been spreading oral cancer much more rapidly than in years past. Multiple sex partners has been shown to expand the incidence of probability exponentially. Heavy smoking, heavy drinking and an unhealthy lifestyle are also contributors.
Dr. Daniel Rubenstein
Dentistry 51 years experience
Also chewing tobacco or dip.
Aug 1, 2012
Dr. Louis Gallia
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery 45 years experience
A few: Smoking, alcohol, HPV, poor diet, poor nutrition.
Dr. Sheila Calderon
Internal Medicine 41 years experience
chewing tobacco as well
Jul 27, 2015
Dr. Ed Friedlander
Pathology 44 years experience
Varies: The common squamous carcinomas of the oropharynx are most often caused by tobacco, with alcohol and perhaps viruses often contributing. Others such as the minor salivary gland cancers seem to just happen by dumb luck, random genetic damage.
Dr. Stanley Lin
Dentistry 17 years experience
Smoking, drinking: Oral cancer can be from excessive drinking and smoking, including smokeless tobacco, and excessive sun exposure (use sunscreen and lip balm). There is also a genetic component to oral cancer risk.
Dr. Jonathan Engel
Dentistry 39 years experience
one of the fatest growing at risk population for oral cancer is young men and women in their late twenties and early thirties. It is a new risk associated with oral sex and the HPV virus.
Jul 21, 2012

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Similar questions

A 37-year-old member asked:

What are the chances of getting oral cancer?

2 doctor answers2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Sewa Legha
Medical Oncology 50 years experience
It depends on lifest: Oral cancers are more common in people who smoke and drink acessively.So if you do not have these lifestyle issues, then the odds of oral cancer are very low. Recently there has been concern with hpv infections causing throat cancers...So oral sex may be implicated in this causation.
A 43-year-old member asked:

Can teenagers get oral cancer?

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Addagada Rao
General Surgery 56 years experience
Unlikely: Unlikely but cancer spares none.
A 33-year-old member asked:

How does someone get oral cancer?

4 doctor answers10 doctors weighed in
Dr. Gurmukh Singh
Pathology 49 years experience
Many causes: The various causative factors for oral caner are genetic predisposition, tobacco, alcohol, poor nutrition, radiation exposure, hpv and ebv infections and more. See this site for more info. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/oralcancer.html.
A 38-year-old member asked:

What is the probability of getting oral cancer?

5 doctor answers11 doctors weighed in
Dr. Hassan Arshad
ENT and Head and Neck Surgery 16 years experience
Risk factors: The main risk factors are tobacco and alcohol use. The chance of getting oral cancer is even higher if you use both. If you use neither, it is very unlikely that you would get oral cancer.
A 44-year-old member asked:

In what way can someone get oral cancer ?

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Ronald Koslowski
Prosthodontics 30 years experience
Smoking ; drinking: The combination of tobacco and alcohol use is historically the greatest risk factor in developing oral cancer. Use of chewing or smokeless tobacco is also a big risk factor. In recent years, human papilloma virus (hpv: the same virus that causes cervical cancer) is turning out to be a major cause of oral cancer in non-smokers and non-drinkers.

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Last updated Oct 24, 2017

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