Oral Cancer: Who Is at Risk?

By CHB of Africa Federation

We see many of our young and middle age men in our community are chewing tobacco (Pariki, Mawo, Ghudka etc.) and increasing rapidly, we have also observed that some ladies have also formed a habit of chewing tobacco. This is extremely risky and are cause of Cancer of Mouth. Recently we have observed some medical cases involving cancer of mouth caused by Pariki and Mawo chewing.

We urge all our constituent Jamaats Medical Boards to start campaigning actively against chewing of tobacco in our community, to bring about awareness in the families including students in our community who fall under the category of high risk of forming bad habits of chewing tobacco.

Our Jamaats who may require CHB’s assistance should contact us immediately.

Risks of Mouth Cancer
Risk factors for the development of oral cancer include: –

  • Smoking: Cigarette, cigar or pipe smokers are six times more likely than nonsmokers to develop oral cancers.
  • Smokeless tobacco use: Users of dip, snuff, or chewing tobacco products are 50 times more likely to develop cancers of the cheek, gums, and lining of the lips.
  • Excessive consumption of alcohol: Oral cancers are about six times more common in drinkers than in nondrinkers.  Using alcohol and tobacco together increases your chances even more.
  • Family history of cancer.
  • Excessive sun exposure: especially at a young age. Ultraviolet radiation from the sun can cause lip cancers.
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV): Certain HPV strains are etiologic risk factors for Oropharyngeal Squamous Cell Carcinoma (OSCC). Almost everyone who’s sexually active.
  • Age: Oral cancers can take years to grow. Most people find they have it after age 55. But more younger men are getting cancers linked to HPV.
  • Gender: Men are at least twice as likely as women to get oral cancer. It could be because men drink and smoke more than women do.
  • Poor diet: Studies have found a link between oral cancer and not eating enough vegetables and fruits.

Symptoms of Mouth Cancer
The symptoms of mouth cancer include:

  • Mouth ulcers that are painful and do not heal within several weeks.
  • Unexplained, persistent lumps in the mouth or the neck that do not go away.
  • Unexplained loose teeth or sockets that do not heal after extractions.
  • Unexplained numbness or an odd feeling on the lip or tongue.
  • Sometimes, white or red patches of the lining of the mouth or tongue, these can easily be signs of cancer, so they should also be checked.
  • Changes in speech, such as a lisp.

Prevention of Mouth Cancer
Prevention of Mouth Cancer include:

  1. Maintain good oral hygiene.
  2. Get screened – See a dentist regularly.
  3. Do not chew betel nuts or Paan.
  4. Do not chew tobacco.
  5. Quit smoking.
  6. Limit sun (UltraViolet) exposure.
  7. Avoid HPV infections of the mouth.
  8. Exercise regularly.
  9. Choose foods that prevent cancer (Eat more fruits and vegetables).

Vitamins and antioxidants in fruits and veggies rev up your immune system, and that helps protect you from cancer.

Make a Sensible Choice Now!

Quit Smoking & Chewing of Pariki/Mawo

Article submitted by:
Date: 28th January 2022