Health Tips for Seniors

Can Smoking Cause Mouth Cancer

Understand about tobacco and smoking

The question can smoking cause mouth cancer is answered in the affirmative. It is very important to note that tobacco in cigarettes are harmful to both smokers and non-smokers as they contain over 250 harmful chemicals like cyanide, carbon-monxide and ammonia. Smoking causes various types of cancer like cancers of the kidney, bladder, pancreas, stomach lung, esophagus, cervix, acute myeloid leukemia, larynx, mouth, and throat. It has been known by research that chemicals like arsenic, benzene, beryllium, 1-3 butadiene, formaldehyde, cadmium, benzo(a)pyrene, ethylene oxide, nickel, toluene, polonium-210 and vinyl chloride cause cancers of different types.

Smoking may provide a temporary feeling of elation among smokers, but this mood would be blown away when smoker realize that smoking has affected millions of people all over the world by affecting every part of their body and lead to the diminishing of overall physical, mental and emotional health. Besides various forms of cancer, smoking has been the most prominent cause for heart disease, aortic aneurysm, stroke, asthma, chronic bronchitis, emphysema, hip fractures, cataracts, pneumonia and other infections in the air passage.

Besides it is significant to note that smoking is also the greatest risk factor for erectile dysfunction. Sudden infant death syndrome and abnormally low birth weight are some of the risk factors in pregnant women smokers.
It is prominent to note that smoking contributes the highest number of premature deaths, with about 40% dying of cancer, 35% dying of heart disease and stroke and about 6% from lung diseases. So it is contended that regardless of age, smokers could considerably reduce their risk of disease by giving up smoking.

Can second hand and third hand smoking cause harm

You need not always be a smoker to be afflicted with harmful disease and conditions of heart, lung, respiratory tract and stroke besides cancer, just inhaling environmental tobacco smoke, involuntary smoking, or passive smoking can cause these conditions.

So living with a smoker could also expose you to the same health hazards like a smoker. Secondhand smoke increases your risk of heart disease by about 25 to 30%, with children undergoing excessive risks for SIDS, ear infections, colds, pneumonia, bronchitis, and more severe asthma. Exposure to secondhand smoke slows the growth of children’s lungs, makes them turn breathless and makes them cough and wheeze.

Third hand smoke that has just recently come into the limelight is also a prominent factor that causes the ill-effects of smoking. This is caused even by an infant’s unintentional exposure to the unburned tobacco and tobacco smoke. It could be also come from contact with the carpet of the room used by the smoker or his or her clothes.

This is a potential hazard especially to infants and toddlers. Smoking outdoors does not essentially help as the smoking residues come along with the smoker indoors and enter even an infant’s body through the skin.

Yes, smoking can cause mouth cancer

It is astonishing to note that just in the United States Of America there were about 30,00 new cases of mouth cancer, with about 8000 patients dying each year. This is a cause of great concern as smoking cause cancers of the mouth or oral cancers of the mesopharynx, lip, salivary glands, tongue,  floor of the mouth, and hypopharynx  in about 90% men and 60% women that are afflicted. It is still more significant to find that all forms of tobacco are harmful and cause mouth cancer.

Chewing tobacco in the form of loose leaves, plugs or twists of rope with spitting or swallowing the tobacco can cause mouth cancer as also snuff. Snuff that is cut or powdered tobacco sold in different scents and flavors is also harmful as it is placed between the cheeks and gums or behind the upper or lower lip. It is also harmful to inhale moist snuff into the nose. Pipes, hookahs, bidis and kreteks are equally causes for mouth cancer.

It is true that cigarettes contain many cancer-causing agents or carcinogens that not only stain the smoker’s teeth, but also his or her fingers. It is significant to note that the level of risk for mouth cancer depends largely on how long the person has been smoking and the number of cigarettes he smokes in a day.

Understanding the connection between mouth cancer and smoking requires knowing that long term smoking increases the time of exposure to carcinogens that plays a negative role in suppressing immunity. These cancer causing agents then play the role of altering the functions that are played by the oncogenes and genes that suppress tumors in the tissues in the mouth. You would then see the uncontrolled cell growth that marks the onset of pre-cancer conditions in the mouth.

Knowing the first signs of mouth cancer could help in early detection and cure. There could be persistent white or red patches in the mouth.  Some more of the significant symptoms could include persistent mouth or lip sores, a lump in the throat, tongue, or mouth followed by difficulty in swallowing or chewing, voice changes and an unusual long-lasting sore throat.

It is found that neglect has lead to the death of many in just 5 years. The adage, “Early detection helps cure”, requires undergoing a simple and painless examination. It is best to ask your dentist and primary care to examine your mouth regularly. The treatment of mouth cancer lies only in radiation therapy and surgery.

To conclude oral cancer can be prevented by avoiding all forms of tobacco products and drinking alcohol. Quitting smoking could help to slowly but surely decrease risk of mouth cancer and a second cancer in the long run.


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