Oral Cancer: Who's at Risk?
Historically, most of the patients are above 40 years of age at the time of discovery of oral cancer. Aging is an important factor because the immunity diminishes with age as well as there are increased chances for the cells turning from benign to malignant tumor cells. This is further supported by the fact released recently in 2008 which says that oral cancer exists even among the non smokers who are below 50 years of age.
Predominantly the cause for oral cancer is attributed to the factors like the use of tobacco, consumption of alcohol and infection by Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). Among all these different causes, tobacco is considered to ...view middle of the document...
About 40 million people from America are found to be infected by this virus. There are nearly 120 strains of Human papilloma virus. Among them HPV16 is found to be more harmful and a potential cancer causing agent. HPV16 also causes cervical cancer, cancer in penis and anus. This virus is suspected to spread even more in the near future because of the increase in sexual intercourse among younger generation in the last 10 to 15 years.
There are also other minor factors which can cause oral cancer like lichen planus (a disease that causes inflammation of tissues in the oral cavity), improper diet with less vegetables and fruits etc. The risk for oral cancer due to these factors is very marginal and it is less likely that it contributes to the development of cancer.
Different types of oral cancer
Oral tumors can develop in different areas of the mouth and throat viz., oral cavity, oropharynx (which means the back of the mouth where it has a connection with the throat) etc. The tumors can be either Benign (non-cancerous) or cancerous. Sometimes it can also be precancerous (a condition where it may become cancerous).
What are benign tumors?
Benign (non-cancerous) tumors are of many forms and can appear in the oral cavity, oropharynx or other sites in/on the body. They are as follows:
|condyloma acuminatum (also |a small, moist, red or pink growth which grows alone or in cauliflower-like clusters |
|called as genital warts) | |
|eosinophilic granuloma |a benign tumor that often affects both children and adolescents. It is commonly found in the lungs or a bone.|
|fibroma |a benign tumor which consists of fibrous connective tissues |
|keratoacanthoma |a fast-growing, flesh-colored bump on the skin which has a keratin plug in the center (keratin is a tough |
| |substance and is the main component on the external layer of skin, nails and hair) |
|leiomyoma |a tumor of the smooth muscle. It is normally found in the small intestine, esophagus, uterus, or stomach |
|lipoma |a tumor that is made up of mature fat cells |
|neurofibroma |a fibrous tumor which consists of the nerve tissue |
|odontogenic tumors |tumors in the jaw |
|osteochondroma |a tumor that is made up of cartilage and bone |
|papilloma |a tumor that resembles like a wart, which grows on...