Oral Cancer

Is Kissing a Big Risk Factor for Oral Cancer?

A kiss is a sign of affection. When it comes to health benefits, it may help relieve headache, release happy hormones, boost one’s self-esteem and lower blood pressure. There is a new study, however, that indicates it can be bad for people.
mouth cancer screeningAccording to the latest report, kissing has now overtaken cigarette smoking as the major risk factor for developing neck and head cancer. It may pass on human papilloma virus (HPV), which is responsible for around 70% of mouth cancer cases.
Cancer-Causing HPV
HPV affects the deepest layers of the skin and the cells lining body cavities, but causes no symptoms at first. Once the virus has infected a person, the risk for developing cancer is 250 times higher. In some cases, the infection gets better on its own. For others, however, HPV becomes persistent and stays around for a lifetime.
‘High-risk behaviours are oral sex, multiple kissing partners, and more recently there are reports even “petting” can lead to infection’, warned Dr Mahiban Thomas, head of Maxillofacial and Head and Neck Surgery at the Royal Darwin Hospital, Australia. ‘If someone has kissed in excess of six people their risk of contracting HPV is higher, or if someone has kissed in excess of nine people the risk is significantly higher again’.
As the virus may affect both men and women, regardless of age or race, the need for early detection and treatment became more important than ever.
Importance of Mouth Cancer Screening
Oral cancer, when left neglected, is dangerous. Those affected may not notice the infection during the early stages. This is the reason undergoing mouth cancer screening regularly is a must, especially for couples.
Due to changes in lifestyle, there is no wonder the number of HPV-related cancers are on the rise. Here at Danny de Villiers Dentist, we aim to stop this growing threat. We offer comprehensive mouth cancer screening services. It is a short procedure that thoroughly examines the whole mouth to determine any lesions, lumps, ulcers or spots. Contact us today for fast assistance.

Silent and Deadly: The Case of the Oral Cancer

Statistics say that more than 2,000 people in the UK die from oral cancer every year – that is more deaths than those from vehicular accidents.
Oral CancerAs of 2011, it is the 16th most common cancer in the country, affecting an estimated 6,767 people. It is more common in men than women, with 86% of the cases coming from patients over 50 years old. Studies indicate that it is one of the few cancers whose rates are projected to increase in the coming years.
Most common risk factors
Studies over the years have proven that the number one risk factor for oral cancer is tobacco use, particularly cigarette smoking. No regular smoker is exempt from being at risk. But of course, the risk increases with frequency and duration. Naturally, the more you smoke and the longer you have smoked, the more at risk you are.
The second most important risk factor is alcohol consumption. If you put smoking and alcohol together, one way or another, your health is bound to suffer. Not only are you at risk for liver and lung cancer, you have added oral cancer to your list of worries.
Identifying early symptoms
Common signs of oral cancer include:

  • Persistent sore throat
  • A sore in the mouth that never heals
  • Bleeding in the mouth or throat
  • A white or red patch on the gums, tongue, tonsil or lining of the mouth
  • Pain in the teeth or jaw
  • A lump or a noticeable thickening in the cheek
  • Numbness of the lips or tongue, especially if it is only on one side
  • Any difficulty with speech and swallowing
  • Any mass or lump in the neck
  • An enlarged tonsil
  • A persistent bad breath

If any of these symptoms has been present for days or weeks, it may be time to consult your physician for an examination.
Get screened today
For you and your loved ones’ protection from this deadly disease, get screened for oral cancer as early as you can. The sooner, the better. Early detection will increase your chances of survival by 90%, while late detection will cause it to plummet by 50%. Find out if you are at risk and visit our office for an oral cancer detection today.