Causes of Tongue Cancer

When a patient is diagnosed with cancer, it is common for them to wonder why. However, there is not always a clear answer to this question. Currently, there is no definitive cause of tongue cancer. It’s a combination of genetics and environmental factors. However, listed below are a few known risk factors for developing tongue cancer.

  • Tobacco:This is by far the most common risk factor for tongue cancer. The use of cigarettes, cigars, pipes, or chewing tobacco substantially increases the chance of developing tongue cancer.
  • Alcohol:Excessive alcohol consumption shows a strong association with the onset of oral squamous cell cancers. Moreover, smoking and drinking heavily more than doubles this cancer risk.
  • Betel nut: The seed of the areca tree is often chewed by people from Southeast Asia and is known to cause tongue cancer.
  • Viruses: The details of this are still being studied. Clearly, though, exposure to certain strains of Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) is associated with tongue cancer.

Other Factors Associated with Developing Tongue Cancer

  • Marijuana use
  • Poor dental hygiene
  • Viruses
  • Poor nutrition
  • Genetic factors