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Thursday, June 24, 2021

Oral Cancer: Five Easy Ways to Prevent it, according to Experts

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How can you reduce your risk of oral cancer? Experts give valuable advice on lifestyle interventions that can protect us from the risk of Mouth cancer also known as oral cavity cancer.

A dangerous disease whose prevention is often neglected due to lack of information is oral cancer. The condition that can occur in the mouth (cheeks, tongue, lips, palate, tonsils) and throat (neck), makes it even more difficult to diagnose as its symptoms, including bleeding and sores in the oral cavity, numbness in the lower lip, and chin or voice lesions are not always noticeable, especially in the early stages, explains Dr. Al-Khudari, head and neck surgeon at Rush University Medical Center.

While some data on the disease are worrying – increasing prevalence in people under the age of 50 – even young people in their 20s and 40s – more likely to develop another similar type of cancer in former patients with oral cancer – the good news is that even at an advanced stage some types of oral cancer are curable, while simple interventions in daily life can help prevent their occurrence, according to Dr. Al-Khudari.

Say no to smoking

The duration and frequency of smoking increase the risk of headache and neck pain proportionally. Products such as pure tobacco in the form of nasal inhaled tobacco dust or chewing tobacco that come in direct contact with the oral cavity can cause leukoplakia, a type of white plaque-like precancerous lesion. In addition, pure tobacco contains chemicals that destroy a specific anti-cancer gene.

Reduce alcohol consumption

The frequency of consumption and the amount of alcohol increase the chances of cancer as well as smoking, proportionally. Alcohol has a negative effect on the body’s anti-cancer defense. According to the National Institutes of Health, more than 3.5 drinks a day double or even triple the risk of oral cancer.

Do not neglect the dentist

Dentists can often detect warning signs such as damage and direct you to the appropriate medical specialty to prevent any adverse events. In addition, Dr. Al-Khudari reminds us of the importance of regular brushing and flossing for healthy teeth and mouth.

Get vaccinated against the HPV virus

Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is directly associated with oral and pharyngeal cancers, especially in the back of the mouth. The incidence of the disease is higher for men around the age of 50  and the symptoms are usually limited, such as a permanent swelling in the throat.

The HPV vaccine, which protects against two dangerous strains of the virus and is recommended before the start of sexual life, is an important weapon in reducing the incidence of cancer.

Protect your lips from the sun

Lip cancer is directly related to ultraviolet sunlight, so those who are exposed for many hours or have a history of burns should be especially careful, says Dr. Al-Khudari and recommends avoiding sun exposure during peak hours, use of protective lip balm with sun protection index outdoors and re-apply after eating or drinking and, finally, use of hats that adequately shade the face.

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