Posted on 1/10/2020 by Tessa Smith-Greisch
|Oral cancer is the type of cancer that affects the roof of the mouth, the lips, the inner lining of the cheeks, tongue, gums, and under the tongue. Oral cancer is very rare in children and young adults with older people being more vulnerable to contracting the disease.
Men are also more vulnerable than women. Risk factors refer to things that increase your chances of developing cancer. They may not necessarily cause oral cancer, but most influence the development of cancer.
Some of the most common risk factors for oral cancer include alcohol and tobacco use, excessive exposure to direct sunlight, human papillomavirus (HPV), and a weak immune system among others. How do you decrease your risk factors for oral cancer?
Tips For Minimizing Risk Factors For Oral CancerThe risk factors increase your chances of developing oral cancer. While it is not yet clear how you can completely avoid developing oral cancer, you can take steps to reduce your chances of developing it. Here are tips on how you can minimize your risk factors for oral cancer.
Quit TobaccoIf you use tobacco, you are at greater risk of developing oral cancer than those who don't. Chewing or smoking tobacco exposes your mouth to chemicals that can trigger the growth of cancer cells. The longer you use tobacco, the greater your chances of developing oral cancer.
Reduce Your Alcohol IntakeExcessive consumption of alcohol is known to cause a chemical imbalance in the mouth and may trigger the growth of cancerous cells. If you have to take alcohol, you should do so in moderation. Men who are younger than 65 should not take more than two drinks in a day while women shouldn't go above one.
Avoid Excessive Exposure To Direct SunlightThe ultra-violet radiation from the sun can cause cancer to your lips. If you work outdoors and are exposed to direct sunlight throughout the day, you should wear a broad-brimmed hat that will shade even the mouth. You can also call our office for recommendations on products to use for lip protection from direct sunlight.
Other ways you can reduce your risk factors for oral cancer include eating a healthy diet full of fruits and vegetables, getting HPV vaccination, and having regular checkups at our clinic. The symptoms of oral cancer are usually lip or mouth sores that don't heal, whitish or reddish patches on the inside of the mouth, loose teeth, lumps on the inside of the mouth, pain in the mouth and ears, and difficulty in swallowing.
If you notice any of the above symptoms, it is advisable to schedule an appointment with our clinic as soon as you can. Get in touch with us today for a diagnosis on any signs of oral cancer.