Have you noticed any changes in your mouth? You may not notice them .The most critical and say unfortunate aspect of oral/mouth 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 mouth cancer and the same number of people dies from cancer in oro pharynx and hypo pharynx.
CANCER registration is not compulsory in India, so the true incidence and mortality is higher, as many cases are unrecorded and loses follow up.
What causes oral cancers?
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.
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.
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 are highly associated with oral cancers.
PREVENTION: Early Detection Is the Key
Mouth cancer will remain a major health problem and the incidence will increase by 2020 and 2030 in both sexes. Early detection and prevention will reduce this burden. Oral cavity is accessible for visual examination, and oral cancers and pre malignant lesions have well-defined clinical diagnostic features but oral cancers are typically detected in their advanced stages.
Mouth cancers have variety of treatment options with good prognosis if detected in early stages. Keep regular mouth screening for cancer with your dentist.
WHEN TO SEE THE DENTIST:-
- If you feel any painless lump/ swelling inside your mouth.
- If any ulcer taking long to heal.
- Consistent bad breath
- If you haven’t visited dentist since long.
Schedule your mouth cancer screening appointment NOW.
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