Did you know that oral cancer is the 6th most common form of cancer? That is a staggering number but there are plenty of things you can do to prevent and catch these cancers early.
Don’t Smoke. Smoking is the #1 contributing cause of oral cancer. The carcinogens found in cigarette smoking cause a higher amount of mutation of normal cells into cancer cells.
Avoid alcohol. Alcohol has been shown to increase the risk for developing oral cancer. Research also suggests combining alcohol with smoking synergistically increases the risk for cancer development.
Use sun protection. Lip cancer is often found in association with excessive unprotected exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Minimize the suns effects by wearing a lip balm that contains some SPF protection.
Stay up on regular dental visits. As part of our routine examination, we check all of the oral tissues, tongue, and lips for signs of oral cancer. This examination includes both visual and tactile evaluation and has been shown to be very effective in catching oral cancer.
Perform regular evaluation at home of your tongue and lips. Be aware irregularities that develop and don’t go away in 7-10 days. The most common location for oral cancer to develop is on the tongue and floor of your mouth, so anything out of the ordinary in those areas be sure to keep a close eye on and if they don’t resolve on their own in a reasonable amount, get into your dentist as soon as possible.