Tobacco products, Smoking and oral cancer: what is the causes for oral cancer ?

Now a days many people in the world taking Tobacco in different forms as cigarettes,cigar and chewing tobacco products.

People who consume tobacco products have increased risk of developing cancer.

A person who smokes cigarettes is about 5-6 times more likely to develop oral cancer than someone who does not.

The longer a person uses tobacco products, the greater their oral cancer risk.

Oral cancer or mouth ulcer affects around 1 in 70 males and 1 in 120 females.Most people with oral cancer receive a diagnosis after the age of 58 ,but in can occur in younger people also.

Tobacco products contain toxic chemicals which can lead to oral cancer. For example, Lead , Arsenic, formaldehyde, radioactive substances, hydrogen cyanide and benzene etc.

The carcinogens in tobacco products can damage DNA. As tobacco carcinogens enter the body through the mouth can may develop in this area. Smoking inhaling or chewing tobacco products can expose the mouth and throat to several carcinogens.


1) jaw pain or swelling

2) mouth or lips sore

3) lumps around the cheek , mouth or lips

4) red or white patches in the mouth

5) sore throat

6) difficulty in swallowing or chewing

7) numbness in or around the mouth

8) loss of tongue or jaw mobility


1) physical examination

2) a biopsy

3) imaging tests

Types and risk of oral cancer

Smoking tobacco products carry the highest risk of developing oral cancer.

People who smoke and consume alcohol have an even greater chance of getting the oral cancer.

Smokeless tobacco products such as chewing tobacco and snuff also contain carcinogens. Most of these products contain large amounts of tobacco specific nitrosamines (TSNAs) .These TSNAs can cause cancer of the lungs ,nasal tract , mouth and esophagus.

A recent data shows that people who used smokeless tobacco products had around 34% higher risk of oral cancer.

Except tobacco products, other risk factors also cause for oral cancer.

1) The Epstein – Barr virus

2) family history of oral cancer

3) gum disease

4) deficiency of oral hygiene

There are many causes and risk factors that have linked to oral cancer.


Such as –

1) Drinking alcohol

2) being overweight

3) having certain infections

4) having poor nutrition

5) betel nut chewing.

Quitting tobacco products can reduce the risk of oral cancer and many other health conditions.

So, quitting the tobacco products is good for health.

Quitting tobacco can lead to positive changes such as: –

1) improved heart health

2) increased life span

3) reduced risk of many chronic diseases

A supportive network of family, friends and medical professionals can help in quitting the tobacco products. Some lifestyle factors that can reduce the risk of oral cancer include:

1) avoiding alcohol and tobacco

2) maintaining a healthy diet

3) using a sun cream or a lip balm when exposed to the sun

4) exercise regularly

5) maintaining good oral hygiene

6) regular visit to doctor for check- ups

So, with the right tools and a good supportive network help for quitting tobacco products is better for health.

Oral cancer is caused by the uncontrolled growth and reproduction of cells in some regions of the mouth. It can occur inside the cheek,under the middle and front of the tongue or on the tissue lining on the mouth or gum.


Treatment of oral cancer usually involves using a combination of therapies such as radiation therapy and chemotherapy.

So , stopping smoking and tobacco products can reduce the risk of developing oral cancer.

Dr S.K.jha