Among the many types of cancers, oral cancer is one of the most difficult to detect, particularly in its earlier stages. Often, patients do not notice symptoms until its later stages when they become more severe. Such symptoms are often experienced in other parts of the head or neck like the lymph nodes in your throat. Learn about the common risk factors of oral cancer and which steps you can take to reduce your risk, including an oral cancer screening with Four Seasons Dental Spa.
What Is Oral Cancer?
Oral cancer occurs in the mouth area. Much like every other type of cancer, if caught late, it can be detrimental to a patient’s health. One of the main concerns surrounding oral cancer is that it is very hard to detect in the early stages. If caught early, however, oral cancer has a 90% survival rate. That’s why it’s so important for patients to understand their risk factors for the disease and stay up to date with screenings for oral cancer detection and prevention.
Common oral cancer risk factors
When preparing for an oral cancer screening and learning about the disease, it’s crucial to understand common risk factors. A common risk factor for oral cancer is the use of smokeless tobacco products. In the past, oral cancer occurred more often in patients over the age of 40. However, doctors are starting to see it occur more often in younger patients, because of the growing popularity of these products.
Many smokeless tobacco companies advertise that their products are much safer than cigarettes or any other form of tobacco. Unfortunately, however, they can still pose a great threat to our health.
Other oral cancer risk factors include:
- Frequent consumption of alcohol
- Prolonged exposure to the sun
- HPV (human papillomavirus) infection
- Poor oral hygiene or poor nutrition
Take Steps toward Preventing Oral Cancer Today
Stop using tobacco products
Using tobacco products—smokeless or not—can expose the cells in your mouth to extremely harmful chemicals. These chemicals are known to be cancer-causing and will put you at a much higher risk than non-smoking patients. Make a plan to quit smoking and avoid second-hand smoke as well, the effects of individuals exposed to second-hand non-tobacco products (vaping) are not fully researched but are considered to be potentially harmful, by medical professionals.
Drink alcohol in moderation
Excessive alcohol consumption can irritate the cells in your mouth just as tobacco can. Drinking alcohol is best done in moderation. Drinking in moderation will make you less vulnerable to the damage alcohol causes to the cells in your mouth.
Avoid excessive sun exposure on your lips
The skin on your lips can be very sensitive to sun exposure. To prevent any damage from happening, wear a hat that shades your face and mouth. Most important, however, is applying sunscreen to your lips. This effective course of action can help protect your lips from sun exposure.
Get Your Oral Cancer Screening Today!
Since oral cancer is most easily treatable when it’s detected early, get an oral cancer screening today. Visit Four Seasons Dental Spa for your oral cancer screening to detect your risk factor as early as possible.
There are two types of oral cancer we screen for at Four Seasons Dental Spa, we look for both Visual and Cellular oral cancer. Using our advanced sight and microscopic technologies we can identify most visual cancer with an in-office visit. Cellular oral cancer screening is incredibly important, we use laser light technology to effectively screen at the cellular level.