Oral Cancer Awareness: Causes, Presentation, and Prevention

Oral cancer, though often overlooked, is a serious health concern that affects thousands of individuals worldwide. This type of cancer can develop in any part of the mouth, including the lips, tongue, gums, and throat. It is essential to understand the causes, presentation, and prevention strategies associated with this disease to promote early detection and improve outcomes.


Several factors contribute to the development of oral cancer, including:

  • Tobacco Use: Smoking cigarettes, cigars, or pipes, as well as using smokeless tobacco products (e.g. chewing tobacco and dissolvable tobacco products), significantly increases the risk of developing oral cancer.
  • Excessive Alcohol Consumption: Heavy alcohol consumption, especially when combined with tobacco use, is a significant risk factor for oral cancer.
  • HPV Infection: Certain strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV), particularly HPV-16 and HPV-18, have been linked to an increased risk of oral cancer.
  • Poor Oral Hygiene: Neglecting oral hygiene practices, such as regular brushing and flossing, can contribute to the development of oral cancer.
  • Poor Diet: A diet low in fruits and vegetables, along with high intake of processed foods, can heighten oral cancer risk.


Early detection is crucial for successful treatment and improved prognosis. Some common signs and symptoms include:

  • Ulcers or Sores: Persistent sores or ulcers that do not heal within two weeks are early indicators.
  • Red or White Patches: Red patches (eryhtroplakia) or White patches (leukoplakia) on the tongue, gums, or lining of the mouth may indicate precancerous or cancerous lesions. 
  • Difficulty Swallowing: Difficulty swallowing (dysphagia) or persistent hoarseness may be symptoms of advanced oral cancer.
  • Persistent Pain: Persistent pain or discomfort in the mouth, throat, or ear without an apparent cause should be evaluated by a healthcare professional.
  • Unexplained Bleeding: Unexplained bleeding in the mouth or throat, as well as numbness or tingling in the mouth or lips, warrants further investigation.


While certain risk factors for oral cancer, such as genetic predisposition, cannot be controlled, there are several measures individuals can take to reduce their risk of developing this disease:

  • Tobacco and Alcohol Avoidance: Avoid or quit smoking and limit alcohol consumption to reduce the risk of oral cancer.
  • Healthy Diet: Maintain a balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables, which are high in antioxidants and can help protect against oral cancer.
  • Practice Good Oral Hygiene: Brush and floss your teeth regularly and visit your dentist for routine check-ups and cleanings.
  • Limit Sun Exposure: Use lip balm with SPF and avoid excessive exposure to sunlight, as UV radiation can increase the risk of lip cancer.
  • HPV Vaccination: Vaccination against HPV can reduce the risk of oral HPV infection and subsequently lower the risk of oral cancer.

It pays to be informed

Oral cancer is a serious health condition demanding awareness, vigilance, and proactive measures. Recognizing its causes, symptoms, and adopting healthy lifestyle practices can significantly lower the risk. Take the first step towards prevention and early detection.

Schedule a consultation now and download the Medgate app today via Appstore or Google Play. You can also reach us through Facebook Messenger or by calling the numbers provided below. 

Landline: 84241737
Globe: 09175362156
Smart: 09190580500

Available 24/7 and on holidays, ready to give the gift that comforts.