Anyone can get cancer, but there are some factors that increase your risk for oral cancer. These include using tobacco products, heavy alcohol consumption and exposure to the human papilloma virus (HPV). Tobacco associated risk includes chewing tobacco as well as smoking cigarettes, cigars or pipes. When you quit using tobacco products, your risk of developing cancer decreases for 10 years and then your risk is the same as if you never used. Your risk is also higher if you use tobacco products and drink alcohol.
Another factor that increase your risk for oral cancer on your lip includes sun exposure. As with many cancers, your risk for oral cancer increases as you age and most people who develop oral cancer are over 40.
Oral cancer screening is part of your regular dental examination at North East Family Dentistry.