Find Out If You Are At High Risk For Oral Cancer
November is Mouth Cancer Awareness Month, which is a month dedicated to bringing knowledge and awareness to mouth and oral cancers. While mouth and oral cancers are not the leading forms of cancer in the US, it is all the more reason to focus on risks in your daily life that could contribute to developing the disease. Continue reading to learn if you are at high risk for mouth and oral cancer.
Mouth cancer is a type of head and neck cancer that can be detected anywhere in the mouth or oral cavity. Mouth cancer can be found on areas such as the lips, tongue, cheeks, and gums. Mouth and oral cancer is typically detected by a dentist during a routine exam.
There are a number of risk factors that are important to note and be mindful of when discussing mouth and oral cancers. While they do not guarantee a result of cancer, it is important to be aware of the risks and to be mindful of healthy changes that can reduce the likelihood of being diagnosed. Risk factors for mouth and oral cancer include:
- Smoking and Chewing Tobacco – Those who smoke or use chewing tobacco are much more likely to develop mouth cancer. Those who are frequently around second-hand smoke are also more at risk as well.
- Diet – An unhealthy diet does nothing to help protect your body from fighting off cancerous cells that can develop in the mouth. It is recommended to eat a balanced diet with an extra focus on consuming foods with Omega 3s, such as fish, nuts, oils, and eggs.
- Sunlight and Tanning Beds – It is not only important to be mindful of inside the mouth, but just outside as well. Ultraviolet radiation caused by direct natural sunlight and tanning beds can cause cancerous skin cells to develop on the lips and just inside the lips. When enjoying the sunlight, it is best to use a sunscreen or lip protectant with SPF.
- Family History – There is a link between family members that certain mouth cancers can be hereditary and passed down through genes. If there is a history of mouth and oral cancer in the family, it is best to be diligent about dental cleanings and oral cancer screenings.
If you feel that you have any risk factors mentioned above, please call our office located in Spotswood, NJ to schedule your next appointment. It is important to be up to date on your cleanings and take care of any lingering treatments that you have been putting off. We hope to see you soon.