Oral Cancer – Let’S Spit It Out Of India!

Oral Cancer is a silent killer on loose in India with more than one million cases reported of the same every year. Mouth cancer is snatching people’s smile and laugh away as it primarily affects the mouth and face area. Chewing tobacco & smoking are the main culprits behind oral cancer and apparently the disease afflicts more men than women. The good news is-, Oral cancer is preventable! It can be prevented, detected & treated at an early stage as statistics suggest that five-year survival rate is above 80%, if this problem is diagnosed early.

Being aware of the risk factors & symptoms, etc. may help you in detecting as well as preventing mouth cancer. So, let’s discuss the same here.


  • Mouth (including roof, floor & cheeks)
  • Throat
  • Gums
  • Tongue
  • Lips
  • Minor salivary glands


SMOKING: As per the experts, Cigarette, Pipe or Cigar smokers are six times more prone to suffer from oral cancer than non-smokers.

SMOKELESS TOBACCO: Chewing tobacco puts you at 50% higher risk of developing cancer of cheek, gums and lining of lips.

Poor dental hygiene: One of the causes of mouth cancer can be poor dental or oral hygiene. Other factors such as ill-fitting denture, sharp teeth, sharp crown & bridges, etc. can also contribute to this problem.

Human Papilloma Virus (HPV): HPV infects genital areas and can do the same to mouth as well as throat. HPV found in mouth and throat is referred as ‘oral HPV’.

Other causes of oral cancer can be excessive exposure to sun or UV radiation, use of alcohol, nutritional deficiency and having a family history of the same disease.

What are the signs and symptoms of Oral Cancer?

Swelling, lumps or rough spots in mouth: First major symptom of oral cancer is developing lumps, swelling or rough spots in mouth that don’t disappear after three weeks. You can also experience same signs on the neck or jaw.

Ulcers, red or white patches: Having ulcers, red or white patches with velvety texture in mouth that do not heal in three weeks are other major symptoms of this oral disease.

DIFFICULTY IN CHEWING AND SWALLOWING: You may find it tough to chew and swallow if mouth cancer has hit you. Moreover, moving tongue and speaking may also get difficult for you.

SORES IN MOUTH, NECK OR FACE: If you develop sores in mouth, face or neck that bleed persistently and do not heal within two weeks than you may be starting to develop this type of cancer.

HAVING CHRONIC SORE THROAT: Mouth cancer patients can have chronic sore throat in the early stages and you can experience lump in throat along with it.

Loss of feeling of pain in body parts such as mouth, neck, face and ear are other signs that this disease may be developing.


Quit smoking and chewing tobacco: As mentioned above, smoking and chewing tobacco or khaini, etc. are the major causes of oral cancer in India, hence, you must quit consumption of these in order to avoid oral cancer.

Avoid alcohol:Alcohol is also one of the biggest culprits in giving mouth cancer to lots of people. So, you should make sure to stop drinking alcohol to prevent this problem.

BRUSH AND FLOSS TEETH REGULARLY: If you don’t give importance to cleanliness of mouth, then your bad habits may weaken your immune system and your body may find it tough to fight cancerous cells. Thus, don’t forget to brush your teeth.

LIMIT EXPOSURE TO SUN: As per the experts, you may develop oral cancer, especially on the lower lip if you spend too much time in the sun light.

EAT HEALTHY: To prevent mouth cancer, you should add such foods to your diet that have anti-cancer properties. Leafy vegetables, tomato, green tea, beans, flax seeds, cabbage and berries are such foods.

An active lifestyle keeps numerous diseases away from you hence, you should exercise regularly. It is suggested that one gets his mouth screened by a dentist every six month for any symptoms of oral cancer. If you experience any of the oral cancer symptoms, contact a healthcare provider immediately.

Oral cancer takes your smile and charm away from you, so you must avoid smoking or chewing tobacco right away. Today is World No Tobacco Day- let’s educate and help each other to quit this bad habit to avoid any mis-happening in the future.

Content Reviewed by – Asian Hospital Medical Editors