Follow Us:

Have Questions?
We have Answers

Click Here to send us a question
and to receive answers from our Experts

Is My Grandfather More at Risk for Oral Cancer?

by Dr. Joshua Davidson, Senior Dental Care Expert
June 15, 2012

Question: Is my 90 year old grandfather more at risk for oral cancer?

Answer: Yes, especially is he is a smoker and drinks alcoholic beverages. Men are twice as likely to be diagnosed with oral cancer as women.  50-70 years old is the prime group affected, but all ages are susceptible. In 75% of all cases of oral cancer, the patient was/is a smoker! More than 6 drinks (beer, wine or hard alcohol)  per day increases one’s chance of oral cancer.

Oral cancer kills approximately 9000 people per year and at five years only 50% of people diagnosed will be alive. The results can be devastating. As with any cancer, screenings are key. Screenings can certainly be done by your dentist, but can easily be done at home in front of a mirror. Check the sides of your tongue, under your tongue and the floor of your mouth (underneath the tongue). Notice any sores in your mouth that do not heal within a two week time period. If any non-healing conditions do show up, do go see a dentist. Often a simple biopsy will be done, sent to the lab to determine the types of cells involved in the lesion.

If caught early, treatment is quick, and the long term prognosis is good.

Have a Question? Submit here.

Joshua Davidson is a 2011 graduate of the Arizona School of Dentistry and Oral Health. He simultaneously received his Masters Degree in Public Health. He currently works at the Chippewa Falls Dental Center in Chippewa Falls, WI focusing on issues of geriatric dental care.

See more of Dr. Joshua Davidson's expert answers

Your Answers and Comments

Post your answer or comment
You must be logged in to post a comment

Previous Expert Q & A

More Previous Expert Q&A