Prevent Oral Cancer: Causes, Early Detection, Treatment Options & Health
Oral cancer is an increasingly common problem. If detected early, it can be treated effectively. Knowing the signs, causes and treatment options of oral cancer can help you prevent this potentially life-threatening illness.
What Are The Causes of Oral Cancer?
One of the major causes of oral cancer is the use of tobacco products. Smoking cigarettes, cigars and pipes as well as chewing smokeless tobacco are all known to increase the risk of developing oral cancer. There is also a higher risk of oral cancer in those who drink excessive amounts of alcohol. Furthermore, some illnesses can increase the risk of oral cancer, such as HIV/AIDS and HPV (human papillomavirus).
Warning Signs & How to Detect Oral Cancer
You should regularly examine your mouth for any signs of oral cancer. Here are some of the common warning signs that may indicate the presence of oral cancer:
- Lumps or thickened tissues in the lips, mouth, or neck
- Red or white patches within the mouth
- Persistent sore throat or hoarseness
- Difficulty in chewing or swallowing
- A persistent, painful tongue or jaw
- Unexplained bleeding from the mouth
If you have any of the symptoms listed above or experience any other irregularities, make an appointment with your doctor for an examination.
Oral Cancer Treatment Options
If the doctor does identify oral cancer, the most common treatment options are surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy. Your doctor will discuss the available treatments and make a recommendation based on the severity of the cancer and your health condition.
Tips to Maintain Good Oral Health & Prevent Oral Cancer
Oral cancer can be prevented in the first place by following a few health tips:
- Limit the use of alcohol and tobacco products
- Eat a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables
- Visit your dentist for regular check-ups
- Practice good oral hygiene, brushing your teeth at least twice a day
- Avoid long exposure to the sun and to sources of ultraviolet radiation
- Be aware of any changes in your mouth, and have any suspicious lesions examined as soon as possible
By following a healthy lifestyle and informing yourself about the causes and symptoms, you can greatly reduce the chances of developing oral cancer. If, however, you do notice any irregularities it is important to see your doctor promptly for an examination. Knowing the warning signs, and following the prevention tips, can help you maintain good oral health and prevent oral cancer.