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Oral Cancer and Diabetes

 

With nearly 10 percent of the population in America suffering from type II diabetes, chances are you’ve already heard a lot about the illness. With an estimated 1.5 million new diagnoses each year, diabetes is now the seventh leading cause of death in the United States. But aside from the dangers of diabetes itself, the disease can also increase your risk of developing a co-morbid or secondary condition. In fact, a new study in the journal Diabetologia has revealed that having diabetes can increase the risk of developing oral cancer in women by 13 percent and their overall risk by 27 percent. The news wasn’t much better for men, with an increased rate of all cancers of 19 percent.

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April Is Oral Cancer Awareness Month

Oral cancer is now the eighth most common cancer among men and the 14th most common among women around the world. In countries like India, where there is widespread poverty and limited access to doctors, that number is significantly higher. In fact, it is estimated that a full 30 percent of all cancers in India will be oral cancers by 2020, making it the third most common cancer in the country of over 1.3 billion people.

So, what is causing this increase in oral cancer rates around the globe, and what can you do to protect yourself from this very preventable - but often silent - killer?

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Could Hot Drinks Increase Cancer Risk?


Are you one of those people who just aren't awake without that morning cup of coffee or tea? Well, according to the World Health Organization, depending on how hot you drink your beverage of choice, you could be putting yourself at an increased risk of developing cancer. In a study by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, researchers found a link between very hot beverages - exceeding temperatures of 149 degrees Fahrenheit - and esophageal cancer, which is the eighth most common form of cancer, and the sixth deadliest.

 

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Oral Bacteria Linked to Esophageal Cancer

Another important reason to take care of your teeth has just been revealed, and many dentists are hoping it will encourage patients to pay closer attention to their oral health. According to a study published in the December 2017 issue of the journal Cancer Research, when no other risk factors were present (such as the patient having a high BMI, or regularly smoking or drinking alcohol), patients who had certain oral bacteria in their mouth had an increased risk of developing esophageal cancer. In fact, that same bacteria found in patients with gum disease was present in the esophagus of patients with esophageal cancer.

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Periodontal Disease Linked to an Increased Risk of Cancer in Women

A recent study by BMC Oral Health found that older women with periodontal disease were at a higher risk of developing certain cancers than women with healthy gums, even if the women with periodontal disease had never smoked.

The study followed nearly 66,000 women between the ages of 54 and 86, some of whom reported having gum disease. The researchers followed up with the women via survey over an eight-year period following the initial response. Those who initially reported having gum disease had 14 percent more cases of certain cancers than those who did not have gum disease.

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New Oral Cancer Test Could Be Coming to a Dental Practice Near You


With oral cancer rates increasing around the world, researchers are working diligently to find faster and more accurate ways to detect this potentially fatal disease before it’s too late. Here in America, oral cancer has become so common that according to the National Cancer Institute, one American dies from oral cancer every 60 minutes. But while in decades past, oral cancer was most frequently caused by lifestyle choices like drinking alcohol and cigarette smoking, oral cancers due to the human papilloma virus, or HPV, are on the rise.

 

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Michele Simpson DDS

Wilmington Dental Office

3317 Masonboro Loop Rd • Suite 140 • Wilmington, NC 28409

(910) 550-3959

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3317 Masonboro Loop Rd
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Wilmington, NC 28409