Did you know that over 50,000 Americans get diagnosed with oral cancer each year?
The bad news about tongue cancer is that many people don’t notice it until it’s too late. This is why the mortality rates aren’t the best compared to all types of cancer. Like many other diseases, prevention is key for fighting cancer.
Want to learn how you can lower your risk for developing oral cancer? Keep reading for the top 5 causes of tongue cancer.
1. Smoking and Chewing Tobacco
Smoking and chewing tobacco are the most well-known causes of oral cancer. Your mouth is the first place in your body to get exposed to these drugs, so the thousands of chemicals are at their most potent there. Since tobacco products can cause several different types of cancer, it’s best to avoid them altogether.
E-cigarettes are marketed as a healthier alternative, but it’s not true. Juul e-cigs are a risk to your oral health, too.
2. Surprising Causes of Tongue Cancer: HPV
There are hundreds of different strains of human papillomavirus. Most strains are harmless and only cause annoying warts on the hands and feet. However, a few dozen sexually transmitted strains are known to cause reproductive and oral cancers.
The best way to prevent HPV is to get vaccinated. If you didn’t receive the vaccination as a child or teenager, you can get it at any age. Unless you are in a monogamous relationship, always use condoms to protect yourself from STDs and STIs.
Like smoking, alcohol is known to cause many different types of cancer. The reason why alcohol causes oral cancer is because it irritates the cells that line your mouth. If the cells become weakened, they’re more susceptible to cancer growth.
Avoiding alcohol is the best tip, but that’s hard for most people. Instead, be sure to drink in moderation.
4. Poor Diet
Eating a diet rich in fiber, antioxidants, and vitamins is the best medicine you can give your body. Fatty animal products like red meat and dairy trigger inflammation in the body. If you develop chronic inflammation from your diet, your immune system is weakened.
Refined sugar also feeds cancer cells, so it’s best to swap sweets for fresh fruits. Although making changes to your diet is challenging, you’ll feel amazing when you give your body proper fuel.
5. Poor Oral Health
One of the biggest signs of oral cancer is a sore that won’t go away. However, some people may not notice any symptoms at all. If a sore is painless and hidden from plain sight, the cancer can progress and get harder to treat.
Regular dentist visits work wonders for protecting you against oral cancer. Dentists can give you a good cleaning and provide tips that will help you maintain perfect oral hygiene. Dentists are also trained to spot any abnormalities in the early stages.
Want More Health News and Tips?
Now that you know the top 5 causes of tongue cancer, you can take your health into your own hands.
If you want to stay up to date on all of the latest health news and tips, Harcourt Health has it all. Be sure to check out our blog for all of the helpful information you need.