ADA warns tobacco users: don’t risk oral cancer through tobacco use

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For World No Tobacco Day this past Sunday (31 May) the Australian Dental Association sent the following alert to tobacco users of all ages—with oral cancer a known risk of tobacco use, it’s never too late to quit.

Around 2.6 million Australian adults or nearly 14 per cent of people over 18 are daily smokers. Smoking claims the lives of 15,500 Aussies every year and remains the leading preventable cause of death and disease in this country.

Giving up now significantly lengthens your life; statistics from an oral oncology study found that stopping smoking contributes to reducing the risk of developing oral cancer, with a 35 per cent reduction in risk within one to four years and an 80 per cent reduction of risk by 20 years—the same level seen in lifelong non-smokers.

“Stopping smoking even after being diagnosed with oral cancer significantly improves the response to cancer treatment, and reduces the risk of other new cancers developing,” said Dr Sue-Ching Yeoh, an oral medicine specialist at Sydney’s Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and a member of the ADA’s Dental Therapeutics Committee.

However it’s not just cigarettes causing oral cancers.

“When we talk about tobacco most people think about cigarettes. But across Australia there are a whole range of other ways people take in tobacco, and the use of smokeless tobacco products such as moist snuff is increasing,” Dr Yeoh said.

“Australians need to take this message seriously. Seek advice and help. Take steps to reduce and quit smoking. It’s about improving your health, and the health of the people around you.”

This article was sourced from a press release on the ADA website

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