Biology Oral Cancer Essay

903 words - 4 pages

All cancer has a genetic basis. It is triggered by mutations in the genes of a cell which then cause the cell to abnormally reproduce. Many of these gene changes are caused by random mutations when the cell is dividing. It only takes one cell mutating to cause cancer. There are no symptoms for the beginning of cancer and only five to ten percent of all cancers are caused by parents passing down genetic mutations to their children. The remaining are caused by environmental changes (Douglas).

Cancer directly affects the lives of approximately 13.7 million Americans. In 2014 alone it is estimated that there will be 1,665,540 patients diagnosed with cancer (Jones). Of these people, 43, 250 ...view middle of the document...

It is a blood condition caused by inherited abnormalities in multiple genes. The anemia often shows at an early age and leads to leukemia or aplastic anemia(when the body stops producing blood cells). A similar syndrome is Dyskeratosis Congenita which is also genetically linked and can lead to aplastic anemia. Individuals with this disease have a very high risk of oral and throat cancer at an early age (Harms).

People who have a family history of head and neck cancer have a higher risk of of developing another primary head or neck cancer. Men are twice as likely to develop oral cancer as woman. The average age to be diagnosed with oral cancer is 62, and two-thirds of people diagnosed with it are over the age of 55 (CDC). Only five to ten percent of all cancers have been caused by parents passing down genetic changes to their children. The remaining are caused by environmental changes (Jones).

Tobacco use is the most common cause of oral cancer in America. Every time that someone smokes a cigarette, cigar, or pipe; uses chewing tobacco; or dips snuff they increase their chance of getting oral cancer. The use of other similar tobacco products can also increase the risk of oral cancer(Gillison). Heavy smokers who use tobacco for long periods of time are more at risk. This risk is also increased even more when those long time smokers drink alcohol regularly. Three out of every four people who are diagnosed with oral cancer have used alcohol, tobacco or both. Quitting tobacco will reduce...

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