5 Myths and Facts About Oral Cancer
According to the National Health Institute, one person in the United States dies per hour from oral cancer. This statistic is frightening, but oral cancer is easier to treat if diagnosed in its early stages. Everyone needs to know the truth about this condition and take prompt action if they notice anything.
Myths and facts of oral cancer
Several myths and facts surround mouth cancer, including:
1. It is easy to tell
Many people believe that oral cancer is easy to detect based on observation or information from the media.
Fact: Although it is relatively easy to detect oral cancer, it is impossible to know if a patient has the condition unless they visit the oncologist or undergo an oral cancer screening. It is easy to detect oral cancer in its early stage during a dental checkup because, unlike other types of cancers that are deep inside the body (such as breast cancer or prostate cancer), oral cancer occurs in the mouth tissues.
2. Food additives cause cancer
Many people erroneously believe that food additives are harmful and may cause allergies and diseases such as cancer.
Fact: With the number of food additives available and the different functions they serve, including coloring, preservation and flavoring, it would be wrong to categorize them all as causes of cancer. Yes, additives may be harmful because of their nature, but relevant authorities ensure that every finished product undergoes an approval process. Since there is no way to ensure that companies are conforming to the rules completely, it is advisable to list the ingredients for common or approved additives.
3. Family history is the major factor
Many people often worry that they may be at a higher risk of oral cancer because there is an incidence of the disease in the family.
Fact: A person only has a slightly higher risk of getting oral cancer if a close family member (child, sibling or parent) has had the condition. Scientists have not been able to discover the association. Nonetheless, like other cancers, diet and lifestyle contribute to the onset of oral cancer.
4. Oral cancer is not so harmful
Unlike other cancers such as blood cancer, breast cancer and brain tumor, oral cancer is regarded as a minor issue, since it is not as deadly as other cancers.
Fact: No one should take oral cancer lightly. Although it is not as aggressive as other types of cancers, it is just as harmful. Despite the advancement in medical research and methods in the United States, there have been no remarkable improvements regarding this condition in years.
5. Stress can cause oral cancer
Stress indeed causes a physiological imbalance that disrupts a person’s general wellbeing. Many people even assert that it may eventually cause cancer.
Fact: It is undoubtedly true that stress is bad. Everyone could use lesser stress levels in life. Stress is known to worsen medical conditions such as high blood pressure, insomnia and obesity. However, there is no study directly linking stress and oral cancer.
Patients should ensure they visit the dentist regularly for a dental checkup and oral cancer screening. If the condition is detected, then prompt treatment will help keep the condition in check.
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