Oral Cancer is the most common cancer type diagnosed among the Men in India. The statistics of Oral Cancer in India has tagged it among the top three cancer types in India (most common in men and fifth most common in women). Every year more than 77000 thousand people are diagnosed with Oral Cancer out of which 70-80% of the people lose their fight against Oral Cancer.

According to the Globocan 2012 stats on Oral Cancer, the primary cause of oral cancer is Tobacco consumption. About 80% of the Oral Cancer diseases are caused due to Tobacco. So, these numbers can rise even more if proper care is not taken. Apart from Tobacco, there are many other reasons too which are responsible causes of Oral Cancer. Read about all the risk factors which are linked with the causes of Oral Cancer.

Major Causes of Oral Cancer


causes of oral cancer

Smoking is the primary cause behind Oral Cancer. The people who smoke are six times more likely to get diagnosed with Oral Cancer compared to those who don’t smoke. In the UK, out of 100 Oral Cancer patients, 60 of them are caught by Oral Cancer cells due to smoking.

Second-Hand Smoking

Can second hand smoking causes cancer

Sometimes it is also seen that people who don’t smoke are also getting diagnosed with Oral Cancer frequently. There can be many reasons for this. One of them is Passive Smoking or second-hand smoking. People who don’t smoke but still living in between the smokers and inhaling the smoke of cigarettes, pipes, cigar, etc are also prone to get diagnosed with Oral Cancer. Most of the second-hand smoking cases are seen in people having smokers in their household or at offices.


Alcohol causes oral cancer and is again an essential factor to look out for. Alcohol is always unhealthy for the state of mouth, but it can be even more severe if you have the habit of both smoking and drinking together. According to research, 14 units of alcohol in a week is quite a safe limit, but if you prevent it entirely, then it would be even better.


causes of oral cancer and risk factors

Diet is a significant factor behind the cause of Oral Cancer. As we all know that the habit of healthy eating will keep the mouth healthy, but few people miss this. People should have a balanced diet in their food that means food should contain carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, minerals, and fats. If any of the following is not in an adequate quantity, it will indirectly affect the health of the mouth. So, have healthy food especially rich in vitamins and proteins.

Weak Immune System

The immune system keeps the notice of the health of the body and prevents foreign cells from invading the body. Therefore, weaken the immune system, weaken the immunity of the body which means more prone to be caught by the disease. So, the weak Immune system is also one of the major causes of oral cancer.

Chewing Tobacco or Betel Quid

causes or mouth cancer

Apart from smoking tobacco, chewing is also injurious to health. Chewing Tobacco-like the Betel Quid also called Gutka or Paan are harmful to the body. Most of the people also think that chewing Tobacco is an alternative to smoking, but it’s not. Hence, erase this misconception and say no to chewing tobacco.

UV Radiation

UV Radiation from the sun is harmful to the skin. The direct contact with the sunrays for a long duration kills the cells of the upper layer of skin. The most common Oral Cancer type caused due to long-term exposure to UV Radiation is Lip Cancer.

Family History

You are on the radar of Oral Cancer if any of your family member or ancestor have oral cancer or any other type of cancer. But the possibility of getting caught by this kind of risk factor is quite low compared to other risk factors.

Human Papillomavirus (HPV)

HPV is a kind of virus which infects or attacks your skin and the skin lining body cavities. Most of the time, this virus doesn’t show any symptom, and with time the small tumor grows into a big one. Again this is not a significant factor behind the cause of Mouth or Oral Cancer, but there is a little possibility. HPV spread from one person to another through skin contact mainly due to sexual intercourse. So, use precautions and avoid having multiple sex partners.

Past Cancer History

If a person has had any cancer in the past, then there is a possibility that he might get caught by the oral cancer cells. Especially the person who had esophagus cancer, squamous cell skin cancer, penile cancer, cervical cancer, anal cancer is more prone to Oral Cancer.

Mouth Conditions

When the health condition of the mouth is not healthy, there is a possibility that you might get to experience red or white patches in the mouth. The red patches are called erythroplakia whereas the white patches are called leukoplakia, and these patches can develop into cancer in the near future. Therefore, maintain good mouth health and regular dental check-ups can only achieve this.

These were the most common causes of oral cancer and risk factors. Try to eliminate these risk factors from the daily routine for the best health. In case you experience any of the Oral Cancer symptoms, or you are in continuous exposure to the above risk factors, meet the doctor immediately for the proper treatment on time. The stats reflect that the success rate of curing cancer at the early stage is 80% compared to that of 21% at advanced stages. Therefore, be on time, before it’s too late. Don’t miss to read about the Oral Cancer Prevention methods.

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