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Mouth Cancer Causes

Female patient talking with a male physicianMouth cancer causes aren’t yet completely understood by medical researchers. While the medical community knows how cancer starts - with the replication of one abnormal cell - and has identified several factors connected to cancer development, the direct trigger is not yet known.

According to the American Cancer Society, the incidence of mouth cancer appears to be higher among men than women. The risk of developing this condition also increases with age, with most cases of mouth cancer occurring in people older than 60. Additionally, the occurrence of mouth cancer has been linked to certain environmental factors and lifestyle choices, including:

  • The use of tobacco products, such as cigarettes, cigars, snuff and chewing tobacco
  • Heavy alcohol consumption, which can have a more powerful impact in combination with tobacco usage
  • Chewing betel nut, a mildly addictive stimulant chewed with or without tobacco
  • The lack of proper dental hygiene and/or regular professional dental care
  • Being infected with the human papilloma virus (HPV)

Tampa General Hospital has a team of medical oncologists, surgeons, radiation therapists, and other supportive care professionals that can determine what combination of therapies offers the best result for each individual patient.

For a physician referral, please use our PhysicianFinder tool or call (813) 844-2200.