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Clinical

Oral Cancer: what are the common causes and how to avoid them

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Cancer is a disease that is prevailing in society nowadays and the worst dilemma is that it is because of unhygienic lifestyle and erroneous eating habits. Did you know that most of the cancers of the mouth, tongue and gum occur due to the use of tobacco? Whether it is tobacco in cigarettes or other form of chewing drugs, the root cause for oral cancer is constant use of it.

Most Common Type of Oral Cancer

Known as squamous cell carcinoma, this is a kind of cancer that can occur in the gums, lining of the mouth, root of the mouth, cheek, tongue and tonsils. It is said to be the most commonly appearing cancer in oral cancer patients. It takes place due to excessive use of tobacco in cigarettes, chalia and paan. Alcohol is another factor that can lead to oral cancers and it has been seen by researchers that people who combine the use of alcohol with tobacco become the top contenders for the occurrence of oral cancers.

Research shows that a huge number of cancers of the head and neck regions materialize among people who are habitual user of paan, chalia and gutka, be they tobacco free or not. This is not all. Studies show that consumers of such drugs are also the ones who generally develop cancers of the pharynx.

It may seem that saunf supari and pan masala that contain chalia are harmless snacks, but research has proved that most high end brands contain narcotics of differing kinds. Chalia that is easily available at the market is of the lowest quality and often contains fungus, rendering it unfit for human consumption. Colorants that are added to it are further harmful for health.

HPV

Have you ever heard of human papillomavirus? This may seem like an alien name to you, but it is what leads to cancers of the tonsils as well as base of the tongue. Don’t know what it is? It is a type of virus that is present in chalia, gutka and other such pan masala snacks. What is so awful about this virus is that a person could be infected without them knowing about it. It is transmitted through oral sex. Different types of HPV viruses like HPV16 and HPV18 are basically the ones that give way to oral cancer, along with the cancer of anal and cervical cancers.

How to Reduce Risks of Oral Cancer

Here are some easy ways to avoid developing oral cancers:

  • Avoid use of tobacco products
  • Avoiding smoking any kinds of cigarettes
  • Not consuming snacks like chalia, gutka, pan masala etc.
  • Avoiding the use of alcohol
  • If you feel that there is some issue with your oral health, consult a medical professional immediately

The worst thing that is done in case of oral cancers is when people don’t seek medical help as soon as possible. Not only does it increase their medical expenditures, it also leads to lower chances of getting cured of the cancers. Therefore, if you or any of your loved one has had the habit of any to these harmful products, consult a dentist for your oral hygiene at the first possible chance.

April 4, 2017
Dental is part of the Medical News Group of publications which in 1968 became the pioneer of medical journalism in Pakistan. Medical News is the only periodical in Pakistan which has 3 simultaneous editions from Karachi, Islamabad and online.

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