Late discovery of oral cancer is an important reason for the high mortality rate. In fact, over 60% of patients only seek treatment when they are in the advanced stage of the disease (stage IV). Early detection of oral cancer (Stage I) gives an 80% chance of a complete cure as they respond well to treatment. The survival rate drops drastically to 20% when noted at stage III and worse when swollen lymph nodes appears in the neck.
There is no guarantee for anyone to not develop oral cancer in their life time, but there are certainly ways to reduce the risk of getting it
- Avoid smoking or chewing tobacco and betel quid.
If you smoke, try to quit immediately. If you are a non-smoker, avoid passive smoke and strive for a smoke-free environment. Together with regular, high alcohol consumption, chance for a heavy smoker to develop oral cancer is even greater.
- Limit alcohol consumption
Men should drink less than two standard alcohol drinks a day while women should not indulge in more than one.
- Avoid excessive exposure to sunlight to help prevent lip cancer
Wear suitable clothing to protect skin against sun and apply sun lotion when staying outdoors.
- Eat more green vegetables and fresh fruits – broccoli, spinach, beans, cabbage, apples, oranges, etc. These veges are rich in anti-oxidants. '
Try to eat three to five portions a day of a variety of vegetables and fruits.
- Maintain a healthy weight through balanced diet and exercise regularly.
Adopting a healthy lifestyle and regular dental examinations are good preventive measures. EARLY DETECTION IS THE KEY FACTOR IN TREATMENT SUCCESS!
Visit your dentist regularly at least once a year, not only to get your teeth checked for cavities but also for monitoring the health of other structures in the mouth.