Watch: The Warning Signs of Oral Cancer
How HPV is Causing Oral/Throat Cancer
In addition to cervical, vaginal, vulvar, anal and penile cancers, HPV infections are known to cause cancer of the oropharynx, or the middle part of the throat including the soft palate, the base of the tongue, and the tonsils. While oral cancers have been declining overall due to fewer people smoking and drinking heavily, the proportion of HPV-related oral cancers has increased over the past 20 years, now accounting for up to 75% of all oral cancers. If trends continue, HPV will cause more oral cancers than cervical cancers by 2020. The greatest increase in HPV-related oral cancers is among younger men. This USA TODAY article summarizes recent findings.
The Truth About Chewing Tobacco and Cancer
There are at least 28 chemicals in smokeless tobacco that have been found to cause cancer, according to the NIH. Smokeless tobacco, which is addictive, causes oral cancer, esophageal cancer, and pancreatic cancer. Using smokeless tobacco may also cause heart disease, gum disease, and oral lesions other than cancer, such as leukoplakia.
The Link Between Smoking and Cancer
The causal link between smoking and cancer has been widely known in the United States since the 1964 Surgeon General’s Report on Smoking and Health. The prevalence of smoking in this country has dropped from 42% in 1965 to 19% in 2010. This decrease is credited with saving millions of lives from not just lung cancer (people who don’t smoke/never smoked represent 10-13 percent of those diagnosed with lung cancer) but also 17 other types of cancer that can be caused by smoking, including head and neck, stomach, pancreas, cervical and other cancers.
What You Need to Know About Lung Cancer
Lung cancer remains, by far, the number one cause of cancer death in the U.S. According to the American Cancer Society, in 2013, more than 228,000 Americans will be diagnosed with lung cancer and 159,480 will die. The disease kills more people every year than breast cancer, prostate cancer, colon cancer, liver cancer, kidney cancer and melanoma combined. Right now, with no effective screening methods, most lung cancers aren’t diagnosed until they’ve progressed to their late stages, when treatment options are limited.