Mouth cancer, also known as oral cancer, can affect various parts of the oral cavity, including the lips, tongue, gums, and the lining of the cheeks. It is a serious condition that can lead to severe consequences if not detected and treated early. Lifestyle factors, including alcohol consumption, play a significant role in the development of mouth cancer.
Alcohol contains ethanol, a known carcinogen that can damage the DNA within cells. Prolonged exposure to alcohol increases the risk of genetic mutations, contributing to the development of cancerous cells.
As we discussed when looking at our previous #DryJanuary blogs, alcohol is dehydrating and can irritate the oral tissues. Chronic irritation may lead to inflammation, potentially creating an environment conducive to the growth of cancer cells. Excessive alcohol consumption weakens the immune system, reducing the body’s ability to identify and destroy cancerous cells. This weakened defense mechanism can contribute to the progression of mouth cancer.
There are many dangers associated with oral cancer. Not only is the death rate for oral cancer higher than that of other common cancers such as cervical cancer or testicular cancer, but there are many horrible symptoms associated.
Mouth cancer can cause persistent pain or discomfort, eventually interfering with basic functions like speaking and swallowing. You can also suffer from changes in appearance, such as persistent white or red patches, ulcers and sores. If left untreated, mouth cancer can also spread to other parts of the body, leading to further severe health complications.
We have talked about preventive measures in our previous blogs, but the main one we would like to highlight this month is moderation of alcohol. Limiting alcohol consumption can reduce the risk of developing mouth cancer by reducing exposure to alcohol’s carcinogenic properties and dangers to your mouth’s immune system.