How do I Prevent Oral Cancer?
Few things in dentistry are life and death so no where is prevention more important than when it comes to oral cancer.
Risks factors increase the chance of us getting oral cancer, so reducing or eliminating these risks altogether is a giant first step. In fact we can reduce our chances of getting oral cancer by up to 75% by lifestyle- and dietary changes alone. .
Here’s how you can help yourself:
- Stop smoking. Your breath smells, your teeth are more stained and yellower, you can’t taste or smell as well as you should, you risk losing your teeth through gum disease and you can’t recover from infections like normal people. You are paying the big tobacco companies for this privilege! We can add oral cancer (including cancer of the mouth, throat, larynx and oesophagus), lung cancer and heart disease to the problems that smoking can cause. Stopping smoking, even after many years will greatly lower the risk of oral cancer and give you back many other health benefits.
- Limit alcohol. A glass a day is OK- any more than this and you are putting yourself at risk
- Practise safe sex
- Protect your lips. Use a lip balm that contains a high SPF (over 15)
- See your dentist regularly
- Be aware of oral cancer
- Know the signs and symptoms of oral cancer
- Diet. We all know eating plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables is good for us, but not all us of will be aware of its protective role against cancer- though it is gaining increasing media coverage. Maintaining suitable iron levels is also very important. Anti-cancer diets are not just a marketing ploy, there is growing scientific evidence to suggest the importance this can play, in both prevention and management. A diet high in meat and dairy products can help to fuel cancer; vegetarians have been shown to be 50% less likely develop it .
Here are some interesting articles and resources fro more information on anti- cancer diets:
The Keys to Preventing Oral Cancer
- Be aware of the signs and check yourself
- Limit the amount of alcohol you drink
- Limit UV rays (sunshine) – use lip balms and face moisturizers with SPF
- Don’t smoke
- Get screened by your dentist every time you go for a check up- at least once a year
- Practice safe sex- use a condom for oral sex.