How to Prevent Oral Cancer?

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Oral cancer awareness is unfortunately relatively low, given the majority of individuals are clueless about preventing and recognizing such malignancies. The oral cavity can be subjected to cancer of the cheeks, tongue, lips, and the oropharynx.

Men are twice as likelier to be diagnosed with one of these malignancies compared to women. Most people don’t recognize the symptoms in the early stages, as they are barely noticeable.

Nevertheless, the best way to raise awareness about this disease is by learning more about oral cancer prevention.

The tips below will be of assistance to anyone interested in this topic.

Stay away from tobacco

The most crucial tip in the prevention of oral cancer is to steer clear of tobacco. The likelihood of developing such malignancy increases with the frequency and length of using tobacco. Not just smoking but also smokeless tobacco play have a direct influence on causing oral cancer. Smokers are at ten times higher risk for this disease in comparison to non-smokers.

Chewing tobacco is particularly harmful in terms of triggering malignancy in the oral cavity. Since it’s placed directly in the mouth, tobacco is likely to create leukoplakia, referring to gray or white ulcers, which might become cancerous. The following link, https://www.nuviasmiles.com/blog/dentures-for-cancer-patients, provides a selection of dentures for cancer patients. Additionally, smokeless tobacco is believed to contain chemicals that cause damage to the gene in charge of malignancy protection.

Drink alcohol moderately

Another enemy of the human body that increases the risk of developing oral cancer is alcohol when consumed excessively. Alcohol is responsible for changing the chemistry of the body by breaking down the defenses it puts up against malignancies.

Individuals having more than three alcoholic drinks a day are two to three times likelier to suffer from such diseases. Consequently, you shouldn’t fall victim to excessive drinking or, even worse, combine drinking and smoking.

 

Get an HPV vaccine

The prevention of oral cancer can be increased by getting vaccinated for HPV (human papillomavirus, especially HPV16. This strain is most frequently associated with oropharyngeal malignancies. HPV-related malignancies are usually developed in men in their late forties or fifties who typically fail to recognize the disease because of the minimal symptoms, such as neck swelling.

The prevention of HPV is best achieved by getting vaccinated before a person becomes sexually active. There are vaccines available that provide protection against two HPV strains. These vaccines are recommended for individuals between the age of eleven and twenty-six. Read more about the symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of the human papillomavirus.

See your dentist regularly

Another prevention tip to have in mind is to see your dentist regularly. Dentists are among the first people to recognize potential cancerous growths in patients. In the course of routine dental exams, dentists may notice some of the early signs and refer patients to the right specialists for further testing. In case the diagnosis is confirmed, the treatment can be started immediately, which increases the chances of eliminating the disease.

Furthermore, individuals who chew or smoke tobacco are recommended to see an orthodontist every six months for oral cancer screening. During such screenings, the doctor inspects the inside of your mouth in search of mouth sores, red patches, or white patches. He/ She will also check the mouth tissues for lumps.

 

Protect your lips from the sun

The ultraviolet radiation emitted from the sunlight has the potential to cause lip cancer, particularly in individuals exposed to the sun for long periods. If your skin is susceptible to severe sunburns, you should do your best to protect your lips from sun exposure. Both the lips and skin are equally prone to the harmful influence of sunlight.

People are advised to limit their sun exposure in the interval between 10 am and 2 pm. Apart from hiding from the sun during these hours, you should use a protective lip balm with SPF whenever you head outside. It’s important to reapply the lip balm after eating or drinking. Wearing a wide-brimmed hat is also recommended to protect your entire face.

Increase the intake of nutrients

The following tip for oral cancer prevention is to increase the intake of nutrients. Nutrient deficiency might lead to changes in the oral cavity that boost the likelihood of malignancies. Nevertheless, antioxidants and vitamins found in fruits and vegetables boost the immune system and improve your protection against diseases.  Brussel sprouts, squash, and carrots are particularly beneficial for your mouth.

Individuals should learn to consume foods that prevent cancer, such as berries, beans, leafy vegetables, grapes, garlic, flax seeds, tomatoes, green tea, and others. All of these foods have antioxidant properties, which facilitate the fight against free radicals. Besides changing your diet habits, you should cook smarter as well.

Veggies and fruits provide the best cancer-fighting properties when consumed raw. Hence, when cooking such ingredients, you should cook them until they become tender. Frying is supposed to be avoided and replaced with baking, boiling, and steaming foods.

 

Conduct a self-examination once a month

Another tip that might help individuals prevent oral cancer is conducting a self-exam on a monthly basis. While waiting for your next dental checkup, it’s a wise idea to inspect your mouth every month by opening it wide while standing in front of a mirror.

During your self-exam, remember to look for usual white and red patches and ulcers. Start by inspecting the floor and roof of your mouth, and then continue with your gums, tongue, lips, and cheeks. Upon noticing anything suspicious, waste no time scheduling a dental appointment.

Make your oral hygiene a priority

Oral hygiene is of the utmost importance in the prevention of infections and germs, which provide thriving conditions for the development of oral cancers. Keeping your mouth healthy is essential for maintaining a functional immune system. When your immunity functions optimally, the body is better prepared to fight potential malignancies off.

The bottom line

By becoming more aware of these malignancies, you’ll hopefully give up some of your bad habits!

 

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