Once a disease of older people who regularly drink and smoke, oral cancer is now plaguing younger generations, causing facial deformities and, in some cases, death.
Studies show a link between oral cancer and the human papilloma virus (HPV). Research in the New England Journal of Medicine revealed that people infected with HPV are 32 times more likely to develop oral or throat cancers compared to the increased risk associated with smoking (three times more likely to develop these cancers) and drinking alcohol (two-and-a-half times more likely).
Some are attributing the correlation between oral cancer and HPV to changes in sexual practices among young adults in recent decades, in particular an increase in oral sex. People with oral and oropharyngeal cancer linked to HPV infection tend to be younger and are less likely to be smokers and drinkers.
Listen in as Deepak Kademani, DMD, MD, shares what is contributing to the rise in oral cancer among young adults.