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Oral Cancer Prevention Port Moresby

Did you know that in PNG, 1 in 10 deaths is due to cancer? The research shows that there is a high risk that someone in your family will be affected by cancer. The key is finding it early and having it treated, which could save your life or the life of someone you love. Of all malignant, cancer-related admissions to hospital, 15% are due to mouth cancer. (Government of Papua New Guinea. 2010. National Health Plan 2011-2020)

How Cancer Occurs

Your body is made from small cells. When one cell grows uncontrollably, it affects nearby cells in that area of your body. Cancer can spread, which is called malignant, or it can be benign and remain in one place. Eventually, it will become life-threatening.

Mouth and Throat Cancer

When it comes to cancer of the throat or mouth, changing cells will create a sore in your mouth. This sore begins as a patch that looks red or white and does not heal with time. The cells in the affected area can travel to other body parts, which can mean new problems there. It’s essential that mouth or throat cancer is detected early to stop it from spreading.The cause of mouth and throat cancer is usually due to lifestyle — up to 91% of cases are linked to this cause. That means if you make the right choices, you can seriously decrease your risk of cancer.

The Risk Factors

There are certain risk factors involved in the likelihood of getting mouth cancer, such as

  • Betel nut, tobacco and alcohol use
  • Poor diet
  • Sun exposure
  • Family history of throat or mouth cancer
  • Low immunity, including HIV/AIDS
  • Human papillomavirus
  • Previous mouth or throat cancer
  • Poor oral hygiene

As such, it is important that you refrain from alcohol, smoking and chewing betel nut. Additionally, you should eat fruits and vegetables and exercise regularly.

What to Look for

Most cases begin with a discoloured patch in your mouth. There are specific other symptoms that you should seek help for immediately:

  • A sore or ulcer that will not heal
  • A lump in your throat, mouth, lip or neck
  • Difficulty swallowing or talking
  • Discomfort in the neck or mouth
  • Unusual bleeding from the mouth
  • A loss of feeling in the mouth
  • A voice change or sore throat for more than six weeks
  • Tooth loss
  • Weight loss

You should get to know your mouth by looking at it in the mirror. Inspect below and above your tongue, using a small mirror. Do so once a month to make sure that you will notice any changes in your mouth. If anything develops that doesn’t go away in three weeks, see a doctor or dentist immediately.

Cancer Foundation of Papua New Guinea logo

For Further Information

Learn more about cancer prevention in Port Moresby. Visit our clinics or contact us today! You can also check out the PNG Cancer Foundation website.

Mills Dental Care | 675 3200600

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