As part of our preventive services, we at Southern Cross Dental in Colorado Springs provide our patients with information on the causes of oral cancer and screen them for early warning signs. Recently the American Society of Clinical Oncology released a study on the connection between oral cancer and alcohol which we wanted our patients to be aware of.
Past studies have established that alcohol and tobacco together raise the risk of oral cancer, but this study examined alcohol as a causative agent in its own right. It found that 5% of new cancer diagnoses, including oral cancer, can be attributed to alcohol. The researchers said they were unsure of why alcohol would lead to oral cancer, but it could be that alcohol causes damage to soft tissues in the mouth. Each time the tissues repair, there is an opportunity for DNA to be miscopied.
The research found that the risk factor did not vary depending on what kind of alcohol was consumed, and although it was greater for heavy drinkers, it was still significant for light and moderate drinkers. It also found that, although the risks for every kind of cancer did not decrease with the cessation of alcohol use, the risk of cancers of the mouth and throat did decline.
Drs. Navid and Faranak Rahimpour operate Southern Cross Dental at 1855 S Nevada Ave, Colorado Springs, Colorado, 80905-2516. To schedule an appointment, call 719-471-1717 or visit Southern Cross Family Dentistry and fill out a contact sheet.