Our bodies change as we age, and our dental health is no exception. Oral cancer is often overlooked as one of the many health problems that seniors should be aware of. However, it is essential to bring this issue to light and raise awareness among adults. Oral cancer is a potentially fatal condition that, if found early, can be treated effectively at a professional dental clinic that offers senior dental care in SE Calgary.
In this blog post, we will look at the risks of oral cancer in seniors and explore preventive steps that can help them protect their dental health.
What is Oral Cancer?
Cancers that develop in the mouth, including the lips, tongue, cheeks, and throat, are referred to as oral cancer. If ignored and not handled immediately, it can be fatal. Due to variables such as compromised immune systems, nicotine and alcohol use, and excessive sun exposure, adults are at a higher risk.
Risk Factors for Oral Cancer in Seniors
Our sensitivity to certain factors grows as we age, making awareness and preventative actions essential. Here are several significant risk factors for oral cancer in seniors, as well as tips on how they can protect themselves.
The possibility of having oral cancer rises with age. Seniors are more prone to cellular alterations that can result in cancerous growth. Regular screenings and self-examinations are becoming more essential in order to detect any abnormalities in their early stages.
Tobacco and Alcohol Use
Use of tobacco, whether through smoking or smokeless products, increases the risk of oral cancer. When combined with excessive alcohol intake, the risk increases. Adults who continue engaging in these practices should consider receiving help to quit, since doing so can significantly lower their risk of getting oral cancer.
Lip cancer can be caused by cumulative sun exposure over a lifetime. Seniors who have spent a significant amount of time outside without lip protection are at a higher risk. Encourage the use of SPF lip balm and other sun-protective measures to help reduce this risk.
A nutritious, well-balanced diet helps the body’s defense systems against cancer. Seniors who are malnourished or have difficulties consuming a range of meals can be especially vulnerable. Prevention can be aided by encouraging a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
HPV, a sexually transmitted virus, has been related to mouth cancer in some strains. Seniors who are sexually active should be aware of their risk and consult with their healthcare physician about HPV vaccination.
Poor Oral Hygiene
Neglecting dental hygiene can cause persistent inflammation and irritation, raising the risk of oral cancer. Seniors should practice optimal dental hygiene and go to the dentist for regular check-ups.
Previous Oral Cancer Diagnosis
Seniors who have previously been diagnosed with oral cancer are at a higher risk of recurrence. Regular follow-ups at senior dental care near you and monitoring are required to detect any potential recurrence early.
Weakened Immune System
Age-related alterations in the immune system can impair its capacity to attack cancer cells. Seniors with impaired immune systems, whether owing to underlying medical illnesses or medication, should be extra attentive about their dental health and seek medical guidance as soon as possible.
Prevention and Early Detection
- Tobacco and Alcohol: Seniors should avoid or minimize their consumption of both tobacco and alcohol, as both considerably raise the risk of oral cancer.
- Healthy Diet: A diet consisting of fruits and vegetables, combined with enough water, promotes dental health and reduces the risk of cancer.
- Sun Protection: Sun exposure can cause lip cancer. When spending time outside, adults should apply SPF lip balm and wear wide-brimmed hats.
- Regular Dental Visits: Adults should get regular dental exams. Dentists can detect possible problems early on and recommend suitable solutions.
Regular self-examinations can assist elders in detecting possible problems in their early stages. If an irregularity is discovered, a healthcare expert should be consulted as soon as possible.
Seniors should visit their dentist in SE Calgary on a regular basis to evaluate their oral health and overall well-being. Doctors and dentists can work together to offer complete treatment.
The stage of the tumor, overall health, and personal preferences contribute to treatment for oral cancer. There are several treatment options available, including chemotherapy, radiation therapy, surgery, or a combination of these.
Support and Education
Seniors, as well as loved ones and family members, should seek oral cancer assistance and information. Online tools, support groups, and instructional materials may be quite beneficial in terms of increasing awareness and providing help.
Spreading Oral Cancer Awareness in Seniors
As we start on a journey to maintain the health and smiles of our elders, here are a few easy ways to spread oral cancer awareness among this esteemed generation.
- Attend educational workshops.
- Collaboration with healthcare professionals.
- Encourage family members to play an active role in spreading awareness as it can help educate seniors about oral cancer risks, signs, and the importance of regular visits.
- Make the most of Oral Cancer Awareness Month by organizing dedicated events, campaigns, and activities aimed at seniors.
- Emphasize the role of regular dental and medical check-ups in oral cancer prevention.
- Personal stories can be powerful tools for raising awareness.
- Participate in local community events.
- Create printed materials such as pamphlets, brochures, and posters tailored to seniors.
Senior oral cancer awareness is an essential endeavor that can save lives and enhance overall well-being. Seniors may improve their quality of life and minimize their risk of oral cancer by learning the indications, practicing prevention, prioritizing regular check-ups, and seeking early treatment when necessary. Let us ensure that the seniors in our lives have the understanding and resources they need to maintain good oral health.
Receive an Oral Cancer Screening at Inglewood Family Dental
Take a proactive approach to ensuring the long-term stability of your dental health. At our neighborhood clinic, our dentist near you provides thorough oral cancer tests to detect any problems early on. We are dedicated to providing you with peace of mind and the information you need to make educated decisions about your dental health.
Book your appointment today and prioritize your oral health!