World Cancer Day is marked on February 4 to raise awareness of cancer, its treatment and to encourage methods of prevention. The primary goal of World Cancer Day is to reduce the illness and related death by 2020. World Cancer Day was founded by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) to support the goals mentioned in the World Cancer Declaration, 2008. The day aims at educating people about cancer, raise awareness and reduce stigma thus trying to deal with misinformation. Various programs and events will be held across the globe on World Cancer Day 2018 to raise awareness about it.

World Cancer Day 2018: Why India Has Third Highest Number of Cancer Cases Among Women
worldcancerday.org spearheads many campaigns and events on this day to raise awareness on cancer. Their theme or tagline for World Cancer Day 2016-2018 is ‘We can.I can.’ Their website reads, “World Cancer Day 2016-2018 will explore how everyone – as a collective or as individuals – can do their part to reduce the global burden of cancer.” It says cancer affects everyone in different ways, all people have the power to take various actions to reduce the impact it has on those suffering from it. It also says, “World Cancer Day is a chance to reflect on what you can do, make a pledge and take action. Whatever you choose to do ‘We can. I can.’ make a difference to the fight against cancer.”
  • Oral cancer is one of the ten most common cancers in the world.
  • The highest rates are found in the developing countries where the disease constitutes most malignancies.
  • Oral cancer usually includes cancer of the lip, tongue, and other sites in the mouth.
  • Its occurrence at a time has been recorded in people below 35yrs of age.
  • Males are often affected than females probably due to heavy indulgence in risk factors and occupational exposure to sunlight.
  • it is the 8th commonest cancer worldwide
  • Nigeria (12 per 100,000)
  • PRECANCEROUS LESION is defined as a generalized state associated with a significantly increased risk of cancer. These lesions can give clue for early detection
  • LEUKOPLAKIA (white patches) and ERYTHROPLAKIA (red patches) constitute the important precancerous lesions.
  • Leukoplakia is a white patch or plaque that cannot be characterized clinically or histologically as another disease. It is also not associated with any physical or chemical agent except tobacco.
  • Erythroplakia is a red patch that cannot be characterized clinically or histologically. It is far less common than leukoplakia but has a higher malignant potential than leukoplakia.

RISK FACTORS FOR MOUTH CANCERS

  • TOBACCO
  • ALCOHOL
  • FUNGAL & VIRAL INFECTION
  • DIET & NUTRITION
  • SUNLIGHT/UV LIGHT
  • HABITS
  • CHRONIC IRRITATION

TOBACCO

  • Tobacco use in all its forms is no 1 on the list of risk factors in individuals over 50(75% of cases).
  • Men who smoke have a 27-times higher rate of oral cancer than men who do not smoke(WHO)
  • The risk is both dose & duration dependent
  • Cigarettes, Cigars and pipes, Smokeless tobacco.
  • Carcinogens(those things that can cause cancer disease) present in Tobacco include: Polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) N’-nitrosonornicotine (NNN) and 4­(methylnitrosamino)-1 3-pyridyl-1-butanone (NNK)

    ORAL CANCER IS REAL
    ORAL CANCER IS REAL

ALCOHOL

  • This is 2nd strongest risk factor for oral cancer. It is associated with the cancer of the floor of the mouth and tongue.
  • The nature of the beverage influences the risk, that is ethanol content, the level of impurities and the protective effect of some components.
  • Acts in synergy with smoking.
  • Markedly potentiates the effects of other topical carcinogens.

FUNGAL AND VIRAL INFECTION

On histological examination, the hyphae of Candida albicans is usually seen within the keratin layer of the surface epithelium of the oral white and red patches with malignant tendencies.

DIET AND NUTRITION

  • Role of Vitamin A, C & E

People whose diet are deficient in Vitamin A [its precursor B carotene] and in Vitamin C are associated with a higher risk of oral cancer. It is also thought that nutritional deficiency causes atrophy of the oral and other mucous membranes which render them susceptible to carcinogens. Diet high in fruits and vegetables appear to confer some protection against cancer. GO FOR MORE VEGETABLES AND FRUITS

FOODS AGAINST ORAL CANCER
FOODS AGAINST ORAL CANCER

SUNLIGHT {UV RADIATION}

  • Believed to be responsible for cancer of the vermilion border of the lip.
  • Commoner in fair skinned people.
  • Lip cancer is uncommon among people with dark or yellow skin.
  • It is believed that melanin pigment acts as a protective agent against actinic radiation. THIS IS A SORT OF GOOD NEWS TO US HERE IN NIGERIA

HABITS

  • Recent studies in India showed that chewing of bethel quid and areca nuts and adding tobacco increases the risk of oral cancer. SO IF YOU TRAVEL THERE, KNOW WHAT TO EAT
  • Also, the use of clay pipes have been associated with lip cancer. This is probably due to thermal irritation from the stem.

CHRONIC IRRITATION

 

Chronic irritation from dental calculus, repeated trauma and ill-fitting dentures and jagged edges of restoration may play a role in localising the site of tumour development.

PREVENTION

Role of Dentist

  • Actively discourage smoking and tobacco use
  • Encourage moderation of alcohol intake
  • Health promotion and education on oral carcinoma
  • Monitor low-risk premalignant lesions
  • Refer all high-risk lesions on discovery
  • Perform biopsy appropriately

Role of Individual

  • Be vigilant and suspicious
  • Always examine mucosa as well as the teeth

TREATMENT

  • Surgery
  • Radiotherapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • The principle objective of treatment is to cure the patient of cancer.
  • The choice of treatment depends on such factors as cell type and degree of differentiation; the site, size, and location of the primary lesion; lymph node status; the presence of bone involvement; the ability to achieve adequate surgical margins; the ability to preserve speech; the ability to preserve swallowing function; the physical and mental status of the patient.
  • Surgery may be the primary treatment or may be part of combined treatment with radiation therapy. Surgery is indicated (1) for tumors involving bone, (2) when the side effects of
  • surgery are expected to be less significant than those associated with radiation, (3) for tumors that lack sensitivity to radiation, and (4) for recurrent tumor in areas that have previously
  • received a maximum dose of radiotherapy.

CONCLUSION

  • In the developing countries like Nigeria  where resources are severely limited, preventive measures should take priority in the management and control of oral cancer.
  • Hence, it is necessary that all medical and dental practitioners become familiar with the signs and symptoms of oral pre-cancer and cancer to enhance early diagnosis and treatment.

ADDITIONAL READING

GOVERNMENT TOBACCO-FREE CAMPAIGN

FOODS THAT CAN INFLUENCE YOUR ORAL HEALTH

4 COMMENTS

  1. I can’t wait for the world to put an end to this killer disease. I lost my mum in 2014 . Cancer is cancer , no matter the organ of the body.

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