5 Risk factors or habits you should avoid to prevent oral cancer
Oral cancer or mouth cancer is a serious disease and it affects men more than women. The cancer usually starts on the lower pallet of the mouth or on the tongue. It is a fast spreading cancer and can affect the whole mouth and the jaw in no time.
Oral cancer also affects organs such as jaw, esophagus, throat, tonsils and salivary glands. The condition often turns fatal because of individuals ignoring it as just any other disease and by the time it is diagnosed, it becomes too late to cure. This is why it’s important that you learn how to test for oral cancer so that you can spot the signs of oral cancer, before they become a problem. Some of the most common symptoms of oral cancer are mouth ulcers, lesions, loss of taste, soreness of mouth and difficulty in swallowing food.
Here are 5 risk factors that cause oral cancer and something that you should avoid to prevent the disease.
One of the leading causes of oral cancer is smoking or chewing tobacco. Cigarettes, cigars and pipes filled with tobacco are things that can cause cancer. Tobacco and cigarettes contain a chemical called nicotine, which makes smoking and chewing tobacco addictive.
If you already have signs of oral cancer, then you should immediately stop smoking or chewing tobacco because it will aggravate cancer and help it spread even faster in the mouth. Not only this; but frequent use of tobacco increases the chance of cancer coming back if you have already beaten it once.
Instead try and chew gum which is free of nicotine and sugar whenever you feel like having a smoke or chewing tobacco.
2 Consumption of alcohol
Another big contributor of mouth or oral cancer is alcohol. Around 70% people diagnosed with oral cancer have been found to be heavy drinkers. Continuous and regular intake of hard liquor can certainly hasten the onset of oral cancer.
Heavy drinkers increase the risk of oral cancer by 30 times, when compared to people who do not drink. And if you tend to smoke and drink alcohol, the chances of you contracting oral cancer go up way higher.
The myth of contracting oral cancer from alcohol based mouthwash is false.
3 Exposure to sun
As with excess of anything, even over exposure to sun may also cause oral cancer, apart from skin diseases and skin cancer. The harmful UV rays of sun can cause the growth of cancerous cells in the mouth. The lesions, ulcers and cracks in the mouth due to oral cancer can become aggravated due to prolonged exposure to the sun’s rays.
In order to prevent this, always use SPF 16 or a sun screen cream with more SPF and apply it liberally on the exposed skin. Also apply sunscreen block or lotion on your lips before wandering in the sun and drink lots of water in order to prevent the mouth from drying up.
4 Poor Diet
Another big reason for oral cancer can be the way you eat and what you eat. If you feel symptoms of oral cancer, then eating heavily fried stuff can increase the chances of oral cancer setting in. Since there are chances of preservatives and seasoning being added to the fried and grilled food, such preservatives may harm the lesions in the mouth.
A person who seems to have signs of oral cancer such as lesions, cracks and ulcers in the mouth should rather stick to boiled, steamed or baked food. Such food is also easier to swallow and is full of nutrients. You can add natural flavors like curry powder, ginger, garlic, chilies and even herbs and condiments to the food to make it tasty.
5 Poor Oral Hygiene
Oral cancer can also be caused by the human papilloma virus of HPV which can make your mouth its home, if you don’t follow proper dental hygiene. If you don’t regularly brush your teeth or floss them, it can cause severe gum and teeth issues. This can lead to cancer cells in the mouth to multiply faster and aid in spreading the cancer far and quickly.
Not taking care of hygiene of your mouth may also lead to compromising the immune system of the body and the mouth. This will eventually help the cancer to spread faster. You should also visit your dentist twice a year for checkups in order to make sure everything in your mouth is fine.