Prevention of Oral Cancer

prevention of oral cancer

Prevention of Oral Cancer

Can oral cancers be prevented?

 Oral cancers are a serious health concern, and while not all cases can be prevented, there are measures individuals can take to reduce the risk of developing oral cancer. Here are some elaborations on the preventive measures mentioned:


Avoid tobacco and its products:

Using any form of tobacco product, including cigarettes, cigars, pipes, and smokeless tobacco, significantly increases the risk of oral cancer. The chemicals present in tobacco can cause damage to the cells of the oral mucosa, leading to the development of cancer. Quitting tobacco use altogether is the best approach to lowering the risk of oral cancer.


Limit alcohol consumption:

Another substantial risk factor for oral cancer is excessive alcohol intake. Alcohol dehydrates the cellular layer of the oral mucosa, making it more susceptible to the absorption of cancer-causing chemicals. Combining alcohol with tobacco use has a synergistic effect, further increasing the risk. It is advisable to either avoid alcohol altogether or drink in moderation to minimize the risk.


Protection from UV light:

Excessive exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light, particularly from the sun, can increase the risk of developing cancers of the skin and lips, including oral cancer. To protect yourself from UV radiation, it is recommended to limit sun exposure during peak hours, wear wide-brimmed hats that shade the face and neck, use lip balm with SPF protection, and apply sunscreen on exposed skin.


Maintain a healthy diet:

A balanced and nutritious diet plays a crucial role in reducing the risk of oral cancer. Including foods with antioxidant properties, such as flax seeds, beans, cabbage, broccoli, green tea, soy, and tomatoes, can help prevent cellular damage and reduce the risk of cancer development. It is advisable to avoid consuming excessive amounts of deep-fried or grilled foods, as these cooking methods can produce harmful compounds.

Regular dental check-ups:

Regular dental check-ups are important for oral health maintenance and can aid in the early detection of oral cancer. Dentists thoroughly examine the entire mouth, including the tongue, gums, and oral tissues, and can identify any irregular changes or suspicious lesions. Early identification of oral cancer enhances the likelihood of effective therapy. Additionally, dentists can address any dental issues such as sharp teeth or ill-fitting dentures, which may cause trauma to the oral mucosa and increase the risk of developing oral cancer.


By following these preventive measures and adopting a healthy lifestyle, individuals can significantly reduce the risk of oral cancer. It is important to prioritize oral health, make necessary lifestyle changes, and seek regular dental care to promote overall well-being and minimize the chances of developing oral cancer.


Disclaimer: This information is provided for educational purposes only and should not be used to substitute professional medical advice. It is always recommended to consult with a healthcare professional for personalized guidance and recommendations regarding cancer prevention.



Written by

Dr. Ramya Reddy
Mahatma Gandhi Cancer Hospital and Research Institute, Visakhapatnam