Oral Cancer: Causes, Symptoms, and Prevention

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Oral Cancer: Causes, Symptoms, and Prevention

Oral cancer is one of the most common types of cancer. It usually starts as an ulcer or growth in the mouth that increase in size or doesn’t reduce in size despite medical treatment. Oral cancers are slow-growing, meaning that they are difficult to detect and often go undetected. This is one of the reasons why India sees around 1 million deaths due to oral cancer every year. Oral cancer includes cancers of the cheeks, lips, tongue, mouth floor, hard and soft palate, pharynx, and sinuses. It can spread to other organs like the salivary glands, the lungs, and the bone marrow.


  • Oral cancer affects both men and women. It usually occurs when the cells in the head or neck area become abnormal, proliferate, or die.
  • Tobacco smoking is the most common cause of oral cancer. The use of cigars, pipes, smokeless tobacco products, and chewing tobacco are also very dangerous.
  • Excessive consumption of alcohol increases the chances of oral cancer by 6 times as compared to non-drinkers.
  • The family history of cancer is a predictor of the future development of cancer. If you have a relative who has had cancer, it doesn’t mean that you will get it too.  However, it increases your risk factor.
  • Human papillomavirus or HPV is a sexually transmitted disease that leads to oral cancer in some people.
  • Excessive exposure to sun rays may cause lip cancer.
  • Oral cancers are the most common type of cancer in people over the age of 50. It is known to take years to grow and is often diagnosed later in life.
  • Men are more likely to develop oral cancers than women. This may be due to the varied smoking and alcohol consumption levels in both genders.
  • A poor diet can also be the reason for oral cancer. Not eating enough fruits and vegetables in your diet can have severe health consequences.


Cancer of the mouth and throat typically doesn’t cause pain or other symptoms early on, which makes it difficult for people to know that they have a tumor without seeing someone else notice first. It is important to know if you have any signs of oral cancer so you can seek treatment at an early stage when it’s easier to cure these cancers.

Oral cancer may appear as white or red patches on the gums, lining of the mouth, or tonsils. A patient may find it difficult to swallow or chew food. It may feel like something is caught in your throat and may cause trouble moving your tongue or jaw. If a person is losing weight rapidly, it’s an alarming sign of oral cancer or other health-related issues. Also, constant bad breath is a symptom, and should not be ignored. Seeking prompt help from a Cancer Doctor in Pune can help you in a timely diagnosis.


You have more control over your risk for oral cancer than you think! Here are some tips to start with oral cancer prevention.

  • It is important that you avoid smoking and drinking alcohol as much as possible.
  • Maintain good oral hygiene. Always remember to brush your teeth twice a day.
  • Be conscious of what you eat. Make sure your diet includes ample fruits and vegetables.
  • Avoid excessive sun exposure, especially during the summer months. Use UV protection lotions to protect your lips and skin.
  • See your dentist regularly for checkups. They can often identify if there’s anything wrong with your oral health.
  • Oral cancer self-exam is a crucial step to take. Check your oral health once a month. Self examine your lips, jaws, the roof of the mouth, front and back of the gums, tongue. If you observe any lump, white or red patch, it’s time to consult the best oncologist in Pune.

Oral cancer is a very common type of cancer and it may be difficult to distinguish the signs and symptoms. At Galaxy Care Hospital, we leave no stone unturned to accurately diagnose cancer and provide our patients with medical care as they fight the battle against cancer. We are one of the leading cancer hospitals in Pune, India, trusted by patients all over India and overseas. Feel free to consult our oral cancer specialists for the best treatment and get back to a healthy life once again!

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