Oncology (General Cancer)/chewing tobacco/mouth cancer


I used chewing tobacco rarely and sporadically from 20 to 30 years old (about 20 total cans over that time). Now I am 40 years old, have not used in 10 years. What is my estimated relative risk (compared to the overall population) of getting mouth cancer?

If you've not smoked and used chewing tobacco sporadically over ten years, and have gone ten years without any problems, I'd estimate that you have maybe a 5% higher chance than someone who never used chewing tobacco.  There are many other issues, however; people who chew and drink a lot of alcohol have a much higher risk than those who chew; and people who chew and smoke have a much higher risk.  Then there are issues having to do with heredity.  Nevertheless, I wouldn't worry too much.  

Oncology (General Cancer)

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Donald Higby, M.D.


I can answer almost all questions related to the treatment and natural course of most kinds of cancer, especially cancers of prostate, colon, lung and breast.


I have been a practicing medical oncologist for 36 years, and have been chief of service at a major medical center for 25 years. I've also done research in cancer treatments.

American Society of Clinical Oncology

New England Journal of Medicine American Journal of Medicine Journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology Hematology Transfusion Medicine

MD, Stanford University Internal Medicine residency, St. Louis University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO Medical Oncology Fellowship, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY

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