Oral Cancer: What You Need to Know About This Sneaky Killer
Oral cancer isn’t new, but methods used to detect it weren’t perfect so it’s traditionally been hard to diagnose. But, all of that is changing. Dentists now have better screening tools to detect cancers before they become serious, but you have to have regular checkups. Oddly enough, the new screening tool is a smartphone device that’s supposed to offer a low-cost solution for detecting cancerous oral lesions. Before it comes to that, take these steps to avoid it.
Fortunately, the causes of oral cancer are known. Exposure to the HPV-16 virus is implicated in the cancer. It just so happens to be the same virus that causes cervical cancer in women. Smoking is another risk factor for oral cancer, as is chewing tobacco and the use of any other tobacco product.
Symptoms are simple to diagnose once they’re there. Any sore that persists for longer than two weeks should be suspect. Any red or white patches in the mouth or on the lips is another sign. Swelling, growth, or lumps anywhere in or around the mouth or neck, repeated bleeding from the mouth or throat, difficulty chewing, swallowing, speaking, or moving the jaw or tongue, and a change in the way your teeth fit together when you close your mouth all indicate cancer and should be checked out immediately.
How It’s Treated
Dentists will discover cancer by doing a routine dental exam. Even a thorough exam takes just a few minutes. The standard treatment for cancer is surgery and radiation.
Fortunately, there’s a lot you can do to prevent or minimize your risks for cancer. Firstly, you should have your vitamin D levels checked. High vitamin D levels correlate with a dramatic reduction in the risk factor for all types of cancers, including oral cancer. Low vitamin D correlates with a significantly elevated risk for cancer.
Stop smoking. This is one of the best things you can do to prevent cancer. Limiting alcohol is another good move too. If you’re having trouble with either of these drugs, there are some new methods that don’t involve an “anonymous” club membership.
Eating a nutritious diet that’s anti-inflammatory is another step in the right direction. Specifically, you may want to limit or exclude wheat and many other grain products from your diet, as they are pro-inflammatory. Industrial seed oils, like cotton seed, corn oil, soybean oil, and canola are all wickedly inflammatory too.
Replace these foods with more green vegetables, starchy tuberous vegetables, and low inflammatory fats like pastured lard, olive oil, coconut oil, and beef tallow.
Finally, you might benefit from having a metabolic panel done as well as a c-reactive protein test done to assess your mineral and inflammatory status.
If the tests show that your body has a high amount of inflammation, you will need to change your diet and lifestyle to lower your risks of developing not just oral cancer, but any cancer. It’s going to be tough, but you’ll feel better, be healthier, and have a better quality of life.
Steve Tucker is an experienced dental professional with a great interest in natural and holistic medicine. He believes that with the right tools, one can take control of one’s health, from mouth to toes.