New research from Cancer Research UK show that rates of oral cancer have jumped by 68 percent in the UK over the last 20 years. And, according to a report from FAIR Health, an independent nonprofit which combined data from more than 21 billion privately billed medical and dental claims, the situation is perhaps even more dire for men in the U.S. Between 2011 to 2015, claims of oral cancer surged 61 percent.
Oral cancer is any type of cancer that affects the head and neck, encompassing the lips, tongue, mouth (gums and palate), tonsils, and the middle part of the throat, the UK researchers say. And, about nine in 10 cases are linked to lifestyle and other risk factors. Though it can be hereditary, per The Oral Cancer Foundation, and you can have a genetic predisposition; behavioral risk factors are the main culprits. That means there are things you can do to reduce your risk.
Read about how you can do just that plus, what some of the strongest risk factors are, and what this news ultimately means for you.