World Oral Cancer Awareness Month is celebrated annually in April. Per statistics, every day a life is lost to oral cancer. Therefore, this month is dedicated to educating the public regarding the increase in oral cancer cases internationally. The American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS) states that amongst the newly diagnosed cases, a mere 60% have a life expectancy of more than 5 years. The percentage that does manage to surpass the average life expectancy, develop serious problems such as facial disfigurement, or problems related to speech and deglutition.
Pakistan has one the highest incidences of oral cancer in the world, the result of which are thousands of deaths every year. The likelihood of survival for advanced cancer cases drops to 30-40% as opposed to early stage diagnosis (55-60%).
Various studies have proved ill-fitting denture-induced chronic irritation to be a probable cause of oral cancer. The irritation continuously disturbs the mucosal surface and could lead to aberrant growths within the mucosa. If worsened over time, cancerous growth can appear in such lesions. Cancers of this sort are more prevalent along the lateral border of the tongue. The relationship between the duration of denture wear and cancer formation is yet to be established.
The Tata Memorial Centre in India conducted a research in which 22 different studies from around the globe were revised. The primary focus of this research was the link between cancer and mucosal trauma. The results showed that 80% of all cancers were associated with smoking, alcohol, areca nut, and tobacco consumption. Approximately 10% of these cases revealed no association to the above-mentioned factors.
Additionally, experts also highlighted the facts that much of the rural population is not provided with proper treatment and lack of awareness amongst the public as well as healthcare providers is a major reason behind the constant disregard for dental care