What to know about oral cancer risk

Wed, Jan 17, 2018

Risk factors for oral cancer include age, diet, chronic irritation or inflammation in the mouth, alcohol and tobacco use, and the Human Papilloma Virus.


Symptoms can include:

  • Red or white patches in the mouth
  • A sore that fails to heal and bleeds easily
  • An abnormal lump or thickening of tissue
  • A chronic sore throat or hoarseness

“Should you be diagnosed with oral cancer, there is hope,” says Dr. Steve Zent, an oral and maxillofacial surgeon with BayCare Clinic. “Combinations of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation are the mainstays of treatment.”


Ask a Doctor: What to know about oral cancer risk


The good news is that if you don’t use tobacco and aren’t a heavy alcohol consumer, your chance of being diagnosed with oral cancer is considerably lessened, says Zent.

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BayCare Clinic,, is the largest physician-owned specialty-care clinic in northeastern Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. It is based in Green Bay, Wisconsin. BayCare Clinic offers expertise in more than 20 specialties, with more than 100 physicians serving in 16 area communities. BayCare Clinic is a joint partner in Aurora BayCare Medical Center, a 167-bed, full-service hospital. Follow BayCare Clinic on Facebook and Twitter.