Oral cancer is type of head and neck cancer and also known as mouth cancer. It can occur anywhere in the mouth, tongue, lips, inside the cheek, in the gums, in the tonsils, and in the salivary glands.
There are several types of oral cancer. In India 90% of oral cancers are squamous cell carcinoma. By 2035 it is predicted that in India alone there will be 1.7 million oral cancer patients.
Oral cancer has a high occurrence in India. Approximately, 1 in every 4 cancers reported in India is an oral cancer. Oral cancer is a cancer that occurs in any part of the mouth, and is commonly found on the side of the tongue.
Here are seven easy steps towards to prevent oral cancer in India
- Avoid chewing Tobacco
- More than 90% of Oral Cancer in India report using tobacco products
- One of the leading causes for oral cancer in India is chewing tobacco. Chewing tobacco accounts for ~40% of all oral cancers and increases the risk for oral cancer by about 3x-7x normal risk.
- Additionally gutka, panparak, zarda,mawa, kharra and khainni. These are dry mixture of powdered tobacco, lime and Areca nut flakes which are chewed or sucked orally.
- Chewing tobacco 10 or more times a day have risk 9.2 times that of non-tobacco chewers.
- Stop smoking
- Smoking, similar to chewing tobacco is a carcinogen: that means it helps break down the bodies natural defenses to preventing cancer.
- Drink alcohol in moderation
- The longer you use alcohol and the amount you drink, the more your risk goes up.
- Don’t eat Paan
- Eating paan (betel nuts) increases the risk of cancer by 2x normal risk.
- Maintain good oral hygine
- 85% of oral cancer patients had poor oral hygiene
- Patients wearing dentures for more than 15 years and not visiting a dentist regularly was highly associated with Oral cavity cancer
- Get HPV vacinaations
- HPV (human papillomavirus) is a sexually transmitted virus that can infect the mouth and throat and cause cancers of the oropharynx (back of the throat, including the base of the tongue and tonsils).
- Self Examination
- Oral cancers are usually on the surface, which can be seen. In other cases bumps or pain can be felt. Maintain good dental hygiene and check your mouth, especially your tongue (both sides) for patches.