Oral cancer is one of the most dangerous cancers out there. Avoiding this catastrophic cancer comes in two fold: Avoid risky behaviors and adopt healthy habits.
The first step is avoiding risky behaviors such as tobacco use and alcohol. Smokers are 6 times as likely to develop oral cancers than nonsmokers. By stopping or avoiding tobacco use, you can lower the risk of disease dramatically. Studies have showing that smokers who quit the habit will cut their risk in half in just five years. Following 10 years, former smokers have the same risk as people who have never used tobacco. So the sooner you quit the less risk you have.
Alcohol consumption also increases your chance of oral cancer. People who drink daily have a higher chance of developing the cancer.
The other step to decrease your chances is living healthy and committing to good oral health habits. Eat a healthy diet that includes lots of fruits and vegetables. You should have at least five servings of vegetables a day.
Also, use lip balm with sunscreen when you go outside. Sunlight can increase your risk for lip cancer.
Finally, be sure to get screened for oral cancer. Some oral cancer risks are beyond your control. The disease is more common in older people and men. It can also occur in people who have no known risk factors.
So commit to get regular dental exams. During these exams, the dentist will check for oral cancer signs. When cancer is detected early, it’s easier to treat.