Oral cancer awareness month

Hello everyone! I have been thinking about you all – my loyal readers – and feeling thrilled to share a new post today and what’s is coming up! 😊

Prevention is one of my favourite’s topics in dentistry.  There’s no better month than April to highlight it. Vibrant spring in the north pole and a kaleidoscope of colour in the south. Moreover, is the Oral Cancer Awareness Month! This could sound a bit shocking at first right? – does cancer could actually affect my mouth?

We do not know what causes most mouth cancers. However, there are several factors that are likely to increase your risk.

Up to 90% of all mouth cancers are linked to lifestyle factors. This means that with a few small changes, you can help cut your chances of developing mouth cancer.

High risk factor for oral cancer

  1. Smoking

Here we go. A true we do not want to hear, buuuut definitely a life changing one 🙂

Smoking tobacco increases your risk of developing mouth cancer by up to ten times, compared with non-smokers! This includes smoking cigarettes, vipes or cigars.

Around two in every three (more than 60%) mouth cancers are linked to smoking.

There is also evidence that second-hand smoke at home or in the workplace may increase a person’s risk of mouth cancer

2. Alcohol

Drinking alcohol to excess increases your risk of mouth cancer.  Alcohol is linked to just under a third (30%) of all mouth cancers.

Smoking and drinking together trebles a person’s mouth cancer risk.

3. Human Papilloma virus (HPV)

Many recent reports have linked mouth cancer to the HPV.

HPV is the major cause of cervical cancer and affects the skin that lines the moist areas of the body.  HPV can be spread through oral sex, and research suggests that it could soon rival smoking and drinking as one of the main causes of mouth cancer.

Abstinence or practicing safe sex may help reduce your chances of contracting HPV.

4. Chewing and smokeless tobacco

Smokeless tobacco is any tobacco product that is placed in the mouth or nose and not burned.

Chewing and smokeless tobacco is extremely harmful and can significantly increase a person’s risk of being diagnosed with mouth cancer. 

The types of smokeless tobacco products most used contain a mix of ingredients including slaked lime, areca nut and spices, flavourings and sweeteners.

5. Diet

Around a third of mouth cancers are thought to be linked to an unhealthy diet and a lack of vitamins and minerals.

Increasing evidence also suggests that Omega 3, found in foods such as eggs and fish, can help lower your risk. Foods high in fibre such as nuts, seeds, whole-wheat pasta and brown rice, are also said to do the same.

6. Betel nuts

Betel nuts are mildly addictive seeds from the betel palm tree. They are widely used in many South Asian communities.

This areca nut has a stimulant effect similar to coffee, and also have a carcinogenic effect, which means they can increase the risk of mouth cancer. This risk is increased further by chewing nuts with added tobacco.

7. Sunlight and sunbeds

Too much ultraviolet (UV) radiation is a known cause of skin cancer. This can occur either from natural sunlight or sunbeds.

Skin cancer can develop on the lips – as this area is often exposed to UV radiation.

Dear readers – What is your lifestyle like? What, and why would you like to make a specific change? – I invite you to spend few minutes in silence.. preferably in a non-judgemental way and answer these questions. Whether is in your head or written on a piece of paper. My purpose is to encourage you for a switch NOW. If you have any question, please get in touch😊

Sending much love to everyone.

Next post is around the corner!

Topic: Bad breath

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