Do you realize that your oral health is at risk every time you light up a cigarette? Smoking cigarettes, a pipe or a cigar is a major risk factor for developing cancer of the larynx, mouth, throat and esophagus. If you both smoke and drink the risk of oral cancer is higher.
Oral cancer may involve the lips (usually the lower lip), inside of cheek, the back of the throat, the tonsils or the salivary glands. Oral cancers are more frequent in men as compared to women. Oral cancers have a poor prognosis. As most people are not aware or ignore early symptoms, oral cancers are often detected when they are in advanced stage. If not diagnosed in early stages it may need surgery, radiation therapy and/or chemotherapy.
Do you know that it is the use of tobacco that increases the risk of oral cancer? Smoking cigarettes, a pipe or a cigar increase the risk of oral cancer but chewing tobacco is also a major risk factor for oral cancer. The risk of oral cancer is 50 times higher in chronic users of smokeless tobacco as compared to non-users. So avoid smoking cigarettes, cigars or pipes, chewing tobacco or dipping snuff to reduce your risk of oral cancer. The risk of cancer is greatly reduced even if a person stops use of tobacco after many years of use. Use of both alcohol and tobacco especially increases the risk of oral cancer.
Most people are not aware or ignore early symptoms of oral cancers. Hence these cancers are often detected when they are in advanced stage. Even if you are aware of the signs and symptoms you won't always be able to detect the earliest warning signs of oral cancer. So consult your dentist and physician regularly for oral and health check up especially if you use tobacco. A doctor is trained to notice early warning signs of a cancer.
If you have any of the following symptoms consult your dentist
If you are diagnosed with oral cancer, go for a thorough dental checkup at least two weeks before your treatment starts.
Coordination of treatment between your dentist and oncologist, before and during cancer treatment, can make your recovery as uncomplicated as possible.