Have you noticed any changes in your mouth?
You may not notice them .The most critical and say unfortunate aspect of oral cancer is they don’t show their presence until they are advanced to late stages.
In India, 20 per 100000 populations are affected by oral cancer which accounts for about 30% of all types of cancer. Over 5 people in India die every hour everyday because of oral cancer and the same number of people dies from cancer in oropharynx and hypo pharynx.
CANCER registration is not compulsory in India, so the true incidence and mortality may be higher, as many cases are unrecorded and loses follow up.
What causes oral cancers??
- TOBACCO USE
Estimates indicate 57% of men and 11% of women between 15- 49 years of age use some form of tobacco. More than 90% of Oral cancer cases report using tobacco products The forms of tobacco are use of smokeless tobacco, use of betel liquid, pan (pieces of Areca nut), processed or unprocessed tobacco, aqueous calcium hydroxide (slaked lime) and some pieces of are a nut wrapped in the leaf of piper betel vine leaf. Additionally gutka, panparak, zarda,mawa, kharra and khaini. These are dry mixture of powdered tobacco, lime and Areca nut flakes which are chewed or sucked orally.
• ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION
Drinking alcohol is an important risk factor for oral cancer. Risk increases with number of drinks consumed in a week. A prospective study in India has found that alcohol consumption increases the incidence by 49% among current users and 90% in past drinkers. This could be due to residual effect of alcohol consumption or them having quit the habit due to serious illness. Consumption of alcoholic beverages was associated with increased risk for Oral cancer in men but it was not observed in women because very few women consumed alcohol.
- ORAL HYGIENE
Poor oral hygiene also causes oral cancer. In one study, more than 85% of oral cancer patients had poor oral hygiene. Poor oral hygiene related attributable risk is around 32% for men and 64% for women in India. Patients wearing dentures for more than 15 years and not visiting a dentist regularly were highly associated with oral cancers.
PREVENTION: Early Detection Is the Key
Oral cancer will remain a major health problem and the incidence will increase by 2020 and 2030 in both sexes, however early detection and prevention will reduce this burden.
Oral cancer can be diagnosed earlier by self mouth examination, increase awareness in high-risk communities. Early detection has better curing rates and it will also reduce the cost for the treatment.
If you have existing dentures in your mouth since long visit your dentist frequently to have complete mouth screening.
Any painless lump/sweeling in neck or in oral cavity do get it checked as soon as possible.
Get proffesional councelling on your oral hygine maintenance to keep your mouth germ free all the time.