Smoking & Mouth Cancer: Checking Your Mouth for Prevention

SmokingThe health risks of tobacco smoking have been researched on and proven countless times. Amongst the slew of diseases you can develop from it, none other has been deadlier and scarier than cancer.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) cites tobacco smoking as a possible cause of oral cavity, tonsil, pharynx and nasopharynx cancers. The numbers prove the claims, with an estimated 65 per cent of oral and pharyngeal cancers in the UK linked to smoking. To contextualise the gravity of smoking’s adverse effects, the risk of oral cavity cancer is thrice as high amongst people who smoke compared with non-smokers. In the same vein, smokers are seven times more likely to develop pharyngeal cancer than people who have never smoked.

Discounting the fact that nicotine is an addictive substance, it is unavoidable that smoking remains a part of some people’s everyday life. To at least prepare for the worst, it is of utmost importance for one to take care of their dental and oral health., for instance, discusses preventative dentistry.

Mouth Cancer Screening

Mouth cancer is a malignant growth in any area within the mouth, which can either be in the tongue, lips or throat. Comparing this type of cancer to breast and cervical cancer or skin melanoma, mouth cancers have a higher proportion of deaths per number of cases. Its mortality rate is over 50 per cent, even when there have been efforts to mitigate its damages to the body. This results in 1,700 deaths every year, and this is just in the UK.

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It is heartbreaking to discover that, apart from the numbers, late detection has led to these fatalities. Regular visits to a dentist allow one to discover the symptoms and the ill effects of cancer.

The Causes of Mouth Cancer

Apart from smoking, too much alcohol consumption comes in second among the leading causes of mouth cancer in the UK. Both substances have been found to contain chemicals that damage the DNA in cells and can eventually lead to cancer. It spreads from the mouth and into the surrounding tissues, and also through the lymphatic system.

If you want to live longer, is it not about time you quit the habit and lessen your alcohol intake and smoking? Prevention will always be better than cure.