Oral cancer can appear as a sore or a growth in the mouth of a person. It generally stays and does not subside naturally. It can cover the cheeks, tongue, the lips, the floor of the person’s mouth, or the soft or the hard palate, the pharynx, or sinuses. In short, this type of cancer is life-threatening to the individual if it is not detected early and treatment under a qualified oncologist.
Paolo Boffetta – Know the risks that lead to oral cancer
Paolo Boffetta is an esteemed epidemiologist and the Director ofThe Institute for Translational Epidemiology in New York, USA. He is actively involved in cancer research and says that as per The American Cancer Society, men are most likely to face the risks of oral cancer than women. Men over 50 years face the biggest risk of getting lung cancer.Read more: What Can You Expect from a Needle Biopsy
It has been estimated there are over 50,000 people in the USA today diagnosed with oral cancer as per a report issued in 2019.
Understand the risk factors that lead to oral cancer: –
- Excessive cigar, pipe, and cigarette smokers are about 6 times more likely to get oral cancer over non-smokers when it comes to the development of oral cancers.
- Those who dip, chew, or snuff products made of tobacco are highly prone to develop oral cancers 50 times more than those who do not use tobacco products. Cancer generally occurs on the gums, cheeks, and the lining of a person’s lips.
- Heavy consumption of alcohol also leads to oral cancers six times more than those who do not drink.
- History of cancer in the family.
- Excessive exposure to the sun at a very young age.
- Human Papillomavirus or HPV. Some HPV strains are an etiologic risk factor for OSCC or Oropharyngeal Squamous Cell Carcinoma.
At the same time, he says that over 25% of all the oral cancers occur in non-smokers and those who occasionally drink alcohol.
Tips to prevent oral cancer
The following are some tips for you to stop oral cancer: –
- Do not smoke and never use tobacco products or drink excessive alcohol. You should stay away from binge drinking.
- Make sure you eat a balanced diet.
- Ensure you reduce your exposure to the sunlight. If you are getting repeated exposure to the harsh sun rays, the risks of cancer increase on your lips, especially the lower lip. When you are outside in the sun, you should use sunblock or sunscreens that prevents the UVA and the UVB rays from your lips.
According to Paolo Boffetta MD, practicing self-care and visit a dentist regularly for oral health check-ups, especially when you have tiny spots and sores inside your mouth. If your dentist does detect something suspicious, you will be referred for a biopsy where you can determine whether the spot is cancerous or not; if positive, you can start treatment under an oncologist right away!