Oral Cancer: What You Should Know

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Global Cancer Observatory data shows that in 2022, new cases of lip and mouth cancers will be the second most common in Pakistan for all genders and all ages. It is the most frequent kind of cancer in men in our state having been diagnosed in over 11,000 men per year.

Cancers of the lips and oral cavity claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people last year. However, you may take preventative actions to lessen your chance of developing oral cancer and identify it early, when it is most curable, even if there are no screening tests for this particular form of cancer.

Cancer that occurs on the inside of the mouth is sometimes called oral cancer or oral cavity cancer.

It can develop on:

  • Lips
  • Gums
  • Tongue
  • Inner lining of the cheeks
  • Roof of the mouth
  • Floor of the mouth (under the tongue)


However, cancers of the head and neck include mouth cancer as one of the numerous subtypes. Mouth cancer and other cancers of the head and neck are frequently treated similarly


Signs and symptoms of mouth cancer may include:

  • A lip or mouth sore that doesn’t heal
  • A white or reddish patch on the inside of your mouth
  • Loose teeth
  • A growth or lump inside your mouth
  • Mouth pain
  • Ear pain
  • Difficult or painful swallowing


For mouth cancer to grow, cells on the lips or in the mouth undergo DNA alterations. The instructions that a cell follows are included in its DNA. In the absence of mutations, healthy cells would stop growing and dividing. When abnormal oral cancer cells begin to build up, a tumor may emerge. If left untreated, they can spread from the mouth and spread throughout the body.

Flat, thin cells on your lips and the inside of your mouth are the most common starting point for mouth cancer. There are many different types of oral cancers.

No one knows what triggers the squamous cell mutations that give rise to oral cancer. Doctors, on the other hand, have discovered several risk factors for oral cancer.


Certain factors tend to increase the chances of Oral or Mouth Cancer. These are called risk factors.

Risk factors for Oral cancer are:

  • Tobacco use of any kind, including cigarettes, cigars, pipes, chewing tobacco and snuff, among others
  • Heavy alcohol use
  • Excessive sun exposure to your lips
  • A sexually transmitted virus called human papillomavirus (HPV)
  • A weakened immune system

A reliable method of preventing mouth cancer does not exist. There is a way to reduce your chance of developing mouth cancer, though.

Stop using tobacco or don’t start.

If you use tobacco, stop. If you don’t use tobacco, don’t start.

When you smoke or chew tobacco, you expose your mouth’s cells to cancer-causing substances.

If you choose to consume alcohol at all, do so in moderation. The cells in your mouth might become irritated and prone to mouth cancer as a result of chronic excessive alcohol consumption.

Avoid exposing your lips to too much sunlight. Stay out of the direct sunlight as much as possible to avoid burning the delicate skin on your lips.

You should always use a sunscreen lip product as part of your daily sun protection practice.

Click here to know why you need a Sun Block!

Visit the dentist on a regular basis…

Ask your dentist to check your whole mouth for abnormalities that might signal oral cancer or pre-cancerous abnormalities during a routine dental exam.

To read about Male Breast Cancer CLICK HERE!!

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Nismah Naveed Bhatti
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