What causes Oral Cancer?

Today’s blog deals with one of the most sensitive and extremely dreaded topics, i.e; cancer. To be more specific, oral cancer. It is feared because it is usually life-threatening. But there are many aspects to it which is generally not known. Before we delve into the details of oral cancer, let us understand the basics first.


What is cancer?

Uncontrolled growth of the body’s own cells in a certain space can cause damage/invasion of nearby spaces. Sometimes, if it is rampant, it can travel to other distant parts of the body and cause damage.

For example, if cancer grows in the abdomen, it may invade nearby organs like the pancreas and damage it. If these cancer cells travel to distant parts of the body, like the brain or the face, it can cause cancer in the new space it has lodged.


What is oral cancer?

Oral generally refers to anything related to the mouth. Oral cancers are generally mouth cancers. They comprise of tongue cancers, cheek cancers, palate cancers, etc.


What causes oral cancer?

A variety of factors can cause oral cancer. I have enumerated the common ones below:

  1. Tobacco

In India and Indian subcontinent, most people have a habit of placing tobacco at a particular spot in their mouth. This can cause irritation and over a period of time to develop into cancer.


  1. Irritation

Continual irritation of a sharp object, like a sharp tooth, to the cheek or the tongue can sometimes lead to ulceration and cancer. It is best not to leave it untreated.

  1. Smoke and alcohol

Pipe smoking and cigarette smoking can cause lung as well as mouth cancer. Mouth cancers in such people are caused in areas where the pipe is held because of continual heat.

  1. Genetic/other reasons

Diseases like lichen planus, submucous fibrosis, etc are some diseases if present can lead to an increased risk of cancer. It is advised to get your treatment done if such conditions are observed by your dentist.

  1. Metastasis from other areas

Cancer in another part of the body can travel to distant parts like the mouth and get lodged, ultimately developing mouth cancers.

Please read my upcoming blogs to know more about oral cancers where we will elaborate on many more questions that are generally asked.


About the author:

Dr. Paresh Lotlekar is the Founder and CEO at Studio32 Dental Care Pvt. Ltd., a chain of super specialty dental clinics in Goa. He has completed his BDS from Goa Dental College and Hospital and MDS in Periodontology and Oral Implantology from the prestigious KLE University, Belgaum. He offers passionate insight and smart advice on oral health and wellness through his blogs. Connect with him at drpareshlotlekar@gmail.com.

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