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Why is the impact of Oral Cancer important to people in alberta?

Oral cancer is the 13th most common cancer in Alberta.1
About 375 adults were diagnosed in 2015.2

  • Oral cancer includes cancer of the lip, tongue, gums, cheek and mouth.
  • Oral cancer is much more common in men than in women. In fact, about 3 out of 4 people who develop oral cancer are men.1
  • The risk of getting oral cancer begins to rise at about age 45. The rate rises more quickly for men than for women.1

What can I do?

Experts agree that together, we can prevent about 72 out of every 100 cases of oral cancer in Alberta.2 Here’s how:

Tobacco smoking is linked to about 41% of new oral cancer cases in Alberta.5

Tobacco has cancer-causing toxins (called carcinogens) that damage cells in the mouth and lip. Over time, the damaged cells can turn into cancer. You can lower your risk for oral cancer when you quit using tobacco or cut down.

HPV (human papillomavirus) infection is linked to about 8% of new oral cancer cases in Alberta.6 You can lower your risk of HPV infection by getting vaccinated. Learn more about HPV, its link to cancer, and ways to lower your risk.

Drinking alcohol is linked to about 17% of new oral cancer cases in Alberta.7 When it comes to preventing cancer, there is no safe amount of alcohol. For people who choose to drink alcohol, Canada's Low Risk-Drinking Guidelines recommend that men have no more than 3 drinks a day and women have no more than 2 drinks a day.4

More information on oral cancer symptoms, diagnosis and treatment at MyHealth Alberta.

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