Mouth Cancer Prevention

What are the best methods for mouth cancer prevention?

While not all cases of mouth cancer can be prevented, many can be by avoiding any of the known causes of mouth cancer. Some of our mouth cancer prevention tips include:

  • Quit tobacco and/or drinking. Because tobacco use and an excessive intake of alcohol are the top two known causes of mouth cancer the best method of mouth cancer prevention is to stay away from these two. If you are unable to quit, limiting your intake will slightly decrease your risk. However, eliminating both completely is the best way to keep from developing mouth cancer.Visit our Oral Cancer Prevention Page for additional information and links on how to quit tobacco and alcohol.
  • Avoid HPV infection. HPV is most commonly found in people who have oral sex and multiple sex partners. Avoiding these sexual practices are your best options for mouth cancer prevention. Also, a new HPV vaccine has become available in recent years that is believed to reduce the risk of developing mouth cancer. The vaccine is only effective before someone is infected with HPV, so doctors recommended that you have it before you become sexually active. This vaccine was originally intended to reduce the risk of cervical cancer, but doctors and scientists believe that it also affects the strains of HPV known to cause cancer in the mouth and oral cavity.
  • Eat a Healthy Diet. The American Cancer Society recommends eating a variety of healthy foods for mouth cancer prevention and ultimately for a healthy life overall. They suggest focusing on plant sources and recommend having at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables each day. They also encourage eating whole grain foods (such as breads, cereals, rice and pasta) and fish or poultry (instead of processed meat and red meat).
  • Treat pre-cancerous growths as soon as possible. Treating all pre-cancerous growths early can keep them from developing into mouth cancer. While this does not eliminate your risk of developing mouth cancer it does decrease your chance. Visit our Mouth Cancer Symptoms Page for more information on common mouth cancer symptoms and ways pre-cancerous spots are tested.

Relapse

If you have had pre-cancerous growths, mouth cancer or another type of oral cancer you are at a much higher risk for it to come back or develop in a nearby area. Because of this, it is recommended that mouth cancer patients continue to have follow up exams for the rest of their lives as an important part of mouth cancer prevention. It is also important for tobacco users and heavy drinkers that have been treated for mouth cancer to quit smoking, chewing, dipping and drinking even if they think their cancer is cured. Continuing tobacco and alcohol use significantly increases the chance that mouth cancer will return.

For additional information on mouth cancer and mouth cancer prevention visit our other pages listed below.

Mouth Cancer

Mouth Cancer Symptoms

Mouth Cancer Causes

Mouth Cancer Treatment

Mouth Cancer Pictures

Mouth Cancer Resources– This page will direct you to many other sites with research and information on all aspects of mouth cancer.

References

Oral Cavity and Oropharyngeal Cancer. American Cancer Society. http://www.cancer.org/Cancer/OralCavityandOropharyngealCancer/DetailedGuide/index. Accessed January 4, 2012.

What you need to know about oral cancer. National Cancer Institute. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/wyntk/oral/allpages. Accessed January 8, 2012.

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    All content on this site is for general information purposes only. It is not and should not be considered medical advice or used in place of the advice of a medical professional. Always seek the advice of a doctor or other professional for any medical condition.