Tag Archives: oral cancer

10 Tips to Help Lower Your Risk Of Oral Cancer (Part 2)

Oral cancer represents approximately 4% of all cancers in the United States, and claims approximately 9,750 lives annually because most cases are detected too late. Luckily, oral cancer is one of the more preventable types of cancer, as many of the risk factors are dependent on lifestyle choices such as drinking too much, smoking or eating unhealthily (as we looked at in Part 1). Let’s take a look at some more preventative measures you can take:

  1. Watch out for HPV – Infections of the high risk HPV strain #16 in the throat (spread via oral sex or deep kissing) have been linked to oropharyngeal cancer. Not all people who contract high risk strains of HPV will develop cancer, but it does increase the risk of oral and other cancers, so be sure to practice safe sexual behavior.
  2. Stay active – Leading a healthy, active lifestyle helps lessen your risk for developing any kind of cancer, or other diseases for that matter. Keeping your body in a ship-shape will help it to fight off disease better.
  3. Check yourself – We all know we should do self examinations for breast, prostate or skin cancer, and your mouth should be no exception. By using a compact mirror or an angled dental mirror (you can buy them at most dollar stores), take note of what your mouth looks like so you can see if your gums change, or if you develop abnormal spots. Abnormal colored patches on your gums, tongue or cheeks are called leukoplakia and eyrthroplakia, and they could eventually become cancerous so it is best to get your dentist to check on them if they develop.
  4. Chemoprevention is an option – If you are at very high risk for oral cancer because of a combination of factors such as advanced age, heredity or if you are prone to leukoplakia eyrthroplakia growths, talk to your doctor about chemoprevention medications which may help prevent cancer development.
  5. Get regular dental checkups – It is very important to visit your dentist annually and your dental hygienist about every 6 months so the professionals can take a look at your mouth to make sure everything looks healthy, as well as ensure that your oral hygiene techniques are on point.

So, there you have it, the last few of our oral cancer prevention tips! While oral cancer is not completely preventable, practicing these 10 tips will certainly put you at much lower risk of developing it. Thanks for visiting DocChat!

 

10 Tips to Lower Your Risk Of Oral Cancer (Part 1)

There are nearly 50,000 cases of oral cancer diagnosed in the United States each year, and approximately 9,750 deaths caused by it. Some types of cancer are more preventable than others. Luckily, many of the risk factors for oral cancer are modifiable, so by changing certain lifestyle habits you can drastically lower your risk for this particular cancer. Let’s take a look at some of the preventative measures you can take:

  1. Practice good oral hygiene – It may seem like an obvious tip, but keeping your teeth clean by practicing a vigilant dental hygiene routine of brushing and flossing will help your mouth remain free of infections and lessen your chances of developing disease.
  2. Limit drinking – While the light or social drinkers need not worry, heavy alcohol drinking is considered a major risk factor for oral and oropharyngeal cancer and has been linked with a large number of cases.
  3. Kick tobacco to the curb – Smoking or chewing tobacco is one of the top causes of oral cancer. According to the Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA), approximately 80% of people diagnosed with oral cancer have used tobacco in some form. Chewing tobacco makes you even more likely to develop cancer than smoking cigarettes.
  4. Curb your diet – Unhealthy diets that don’t contain enough fruit and veggies have been linked to the development of oral cancer. It is important to ensure you’re getting plenty of leafy greens, other veggies and fruit and limiting saturated fats and processed meats.
  5. Keep an eye on your dentures – Sometimes people who wear dentures take their mouths for granted, because they don’t have to go to the dentist to get their teeth checked regularly or floss, so it can be easy to get a little complacent when it comes to mouth care. Unfortunately, ill-fitting dentures can irritate the gums and raise your risk of developing damage that may make your mouth more vulnerable to cancer. If you don’t keep your mouth clean enough or wash your dentures regularly it can lead to infection and other complications as well.

That concludes part 1 of our look at oral cancer prevention tips, stay tuned for part 2 tomorrow! Thanks for visiting DocChat.