Oral cancer: these factors that increase the risk

Oral cancer is cancer that develops in one of the parts that make up the mouth (oral cavity). Oral cancer can occur on:

inner cheeks
Floor of the mouth (under the tongue)

Cancer that occurs inside the mouth is sometimes called oral cavity cancer. It is one of many types of cancer grouped together in a category called “head and neck cancers”. Oral cancer and other head and neck cancers are often treated the same way.

Symptoms of mouth cancer

Signs and symptoms of mouth cancer may include:

A lip or mouth sore that does not heal
A white or reddish patch inside the mouth
loose teeth
A growth or lump inside the mouth
Mouth pain
ear pain
Difficult or painful swallowing

When to consult a doctor

Make an appointment with your doctor or dentist if you have persistent signs and symptoms that bother you and last longer than two weeks. Your doctor will likely look at other, more common causes of your signs and symptoms first, such as an infection.

Causes of mouth cancer

Oral cancers form when cells on the lips or in the mouth develop changes (mutations) in their DNA. A cell’s DNA contains the instructions that tell the cell what to do. Mutations tell cells to continue growing and dividing when healthy cells would die. Abnormal cancer cells in the mouth that accumulate can form a tumour.

Over time, they can spread inside the mouth and to other areas of the head and neck or to other parts of the body. Oral cancers most often start in the thin, flat cells (squamous cells) that line the lips and inside the mouth. Most oral cancers are squamous cell carcinomas. It is not known exactly what causes the squamous cell mutations that lead to oral cancer. But doctors have identified factors that may increase the risk of oral cancer.

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Risk factors for oral cancer

Some of the factors that may increase your risk of oral cancer include:

-The consumption of tobacco in all its forms, including cigarettes, cigars, pipes, chewing tobacco and snuff, among others
– Heavy alcohol consumption
– Excessive exposure of the lips to the sun
-A sexually transmitted virus called human papillomavirus (HPV)
– A weakened immune system

Prevention of oral cancer

There is no proven way to prevent oral cancer. However, you can reduce your risk of oral cancer if you:

Quit or don’t start

If you use tobacco, quit. If you don’t use tobacco, don’t start. Using tobacco, whether smoked or chewed, exposes the cells in your mouth to dangerous chemicals that cause cancer.

Drink alcohol only in moderation, if at all

Chronic excessive alcohol consumption can irritate the cells in the mouth and make them susceptible to oral cancer. If you choose to drink alcohol, do so in moderation. For healthy adults, that means up to one drink a day for women of all ages and men over 65. And up to two glasses a day for men 65 and under.

Avoid excessive exposure of your lips to the sun

Protect your lip skin from the sun by staying in the shade when possible. Wear a wide-brimmed hat that effectively shades your entire face, including your mouth. Apply a sunscreen lip product as part of your regular sunscreen regimen.

See your dentist regularly

As part of a routine dental exam, have your dentist inspect your entire mouth for abnormal areas that could indicate oral cancer or precancerous changes.

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Alternative medicine to better live the treatments

No complementary or alternative medicine treatment can cure oral cancer. But complementary and alternative medicine treatments can help you cope with oral cancer and the side effects of cancer treatment, such as fatigue.

Many people undergoing cancer treatment experience fatigue. Your doctor can treat the underlying causes of fatigue, but the feeling of being completely exhausted may persist despite treatment. Complementary therapies can help you deal with fatigue.


Aim to exercise gently for 30 minutes most days of the week. Moderate exercise, such as brisk walking, during and after cancer treatment reduces fatigue. Talk to your doctor before you start exercising to make sure it’s safe for you.

Massage therapy

During a massage, a massage therapist uses their hands to apply pressure to your skin and muscles. Some massage therapists are specially trained to work with people with cancer.


Activities that help you relax can help you cope. Try listening to music or writing in a journal.


During an acupuncture session, a trained practitioner inserts fine needles into specific locations on your body. Some acupuncturists are specially trained to work with people with cancer. Ask your doctor to recommend an acupuncturist he knows near you, or ask for a quality acupuncturist near you. Word of mouth is often the best way to find a good address.

* The information and services available on pressesante.com in no way replace the consultation of competent health professionals. [HighProtein-Foods.com]

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