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Are Nonsmokers at the risk of contracting oral cancers, Health News, ET HealthWorld

By Dr Niti Raizada

According to the World Health Organisation, oral cancer is a type of cancer that affects the mouth, including the lips, gums, and tongue. It is a serious and potentially life-threatening condition often caused by tobacco use, heavy alcohol consumption, and a diet low in fruits and vegetables. While these factors are known to increase the risk of oral cancerit is possible for non-smokers to also be at risk.

According to a study published in the Journal of the American Dental Association found that non-smoking individuals made up around 25 percent of oral cancer cases. This suggests that other factors may be at play in the development of oral cancer, even among nonsmokers.

One potential risk factor for oral cancer in non-smokers is human papillomavirus (HPVinfection. HPV is a sexually transmitted infection that can cause changes in the cells of the mouth, throat, and cervix, increasing the risk of cancer. A study published in the journal cancer epidemiologyBiomarkers & Prevention found that individuals with HPV infection were nearly three times more likely to develop oral cancer compared to those without the infection.

Another potential risk factor for oral cancer in non-smokers is a diet low in fruits and vegetables. A study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology found that individuals who consumed a diet low in fruits and vegetables had an increased risk of oral cancer.

According to the researchers, this is because fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants and other nutrients that may help prevent against cancer development.

In addition to HPV infection and a poor diet, other potential risk factors for oral cancer in nonsmokers include excessive sun exposure, which can increase the risk of lip cancer, and certain medical conditions such as leukoplakia, which is a white or gray patch. on the gums, tongue, or inner cheek.

Overall, while tobacco use and heavy alcohol consumption are known to be the main risk factors for oral cancer, it is important to be aware that non-smokers can also be at risk. To reduce the risk of oral cancer, non-smokers should practice safe sex, consume a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, protect their lips from the sun, and see a dentist regularly for check-ups.

Dr Niti Raizada, Senior Director, Medical Oncology & Hemato-Oncology, Fortis Group of Hospitals, Bangalore

(DISCLAIMER: The views expressed are sole of the author and ETHealthworld does not necessarily subscribe to it. shall not be responsible for any damage caused to any person/organisation directly or indirectly.)

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