Research shows lifestyle choices increase oral cancer risk

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Research conducted by a team at Aberdeen University has shown that lifestyle choices are increasing the risk of oral cancer.

The study showed that young people are increasing their risk of developing forms of cancer known as upper aero-digestive tract by choosing to drink alcohol on a regular basis and smoke. Diet also plays a significant part and those with a poor diet, lacking in essential nutrients provided by fruit and vegetables, have a much higher risk of developing AEDT cancers.

The study was conducted over a five year period; data from 350 patients under the age of 50 with AEDT cancer was analysed alongside data from 400 patients who did not have AEDT cancer. The study concluded that nine out of ten cases of cancer were associated with regular consumption of alcohol, smoking and a poor diet.

Oral cancer is becoming increasingly common, yet many people are still aware of the symptoms and signs. Dentists are campaigning to raise awareness of oral cancer and increase the media profile so that people are aware of the importance of regular dental check-ups and know which signs to look out for. Common symptoms of oral cancer include white or red patches in the mouth, sores which do not heal and unusual swellings in the mouth or throat.

The British Dental Health Foundation are launching Mouth Cancer Action Month in November; it is hoped that the events and programmes will educate people about oral cancer and encourage them to keep an eye out for signs of oral cancer and visit their dentist for regular check-ups.

The results of the study enforce the importance of healthy living and researchers hope that people will adapt their lifestyles to reduce the risk of them developing serious health issues.

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