Men are more than twice as likely to develop oral cancer than women, show new figures released by Cancer Research UK.
Around 5,300 men are diagnosed with oral cancer every year in the UK compared to around 2,500 women, according to the most recent data.
Oral cancer, which includes cancers of the mouth, tongue, lips, tonsils and the oropharynx, have been on the rise in both men and women over the last decade, with rates rising from 10 cases per 100,000 people a year in the mid-2000s, to 13 cases per 100,000.
However, up to 90 percent of oral cancer cases in the UK are linked to preventable causes like smoking, alcohol and contracting human papillomavirus (HPV).
According to Cancer Research UK, the difference between cases in men and women may be due to men indulging more heavily in some of these activities.
“It’s a real concern that so many men are getting oral cancer and that it’s been on the rise in both men and women,” said Richard Roope, the charity’s lead GP. “But the vast majority of oral cancer cases are preventable, so the good news is that people can cut their risk by quitting smoking and cutting down on alcohol.
“Early diagnosis is absolutely key for the best results which is why we’re set on helping dentists and GPs catch oral cancer sooner.”