April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month

April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month!

Many people do not realize that detecting risks early is essential to prevent oral cancer. It’s important to raise awareness about oral cancer and how screenings help in early detection. Not every oral cancer is caused by tobacco use.

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In honor of Oral Cancer Awareness Month, we decided to put together these resources for you so you could find them all in one place.

Tobacco use in any form, such as smoking, chewing or using electronic cigarettes increases cancer rates and overall health problems by 50%.

According to the Oral Cancer Foundation in the next hour, 50 people will die because of tobacco effects. The report from the Institute of Medicine (2016) says that tobacco kills more Americans annually than AIDS, alcohol, cocaine, heroin, homicides, suicides, car accidents, and fires combined. It is highly addictive and difficult to quit.

Oral Cancer: Can You Get it Without Smoking?

In short, yes. You can get oral cancer many other ways than simply from smoking. One of them is through HPV Virus-related oral cancer. Read our guide to HPV-related cancer here.

You can also flip through our slideshow on oral cancer risks,
early detection, and prevention below.

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(Contact us to receive a powerpoint to this presentation.)

Are E-Cigarettes Safer Than Regular Cigarettes?

Not necessarily. Click the pictures below to learn more about the dangers of E-Cigarettes.

Oral Cancer and electronic cigarettes Lincoln,NE dentist

oral cancer and electronic cigarettes Lincoln,NE dentist

Coaches and Parents:
What To Do If You Have a Child
Using Tobacco, E-Cigs, or Chew

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(Click the picture for the handout document)

Ready To Quit, But Not Sure Where To Start?

If you’re feeling like you are ready to quit smoking, we’ve got some resources to offer. Below is a story from Marlene offering advice on how to quit, followed by advice from Nebraska Family Physician, Dr. Bobby. Below that, is a list of support groups that are nearby that may also be able to offer help.

Marlene’s Story:

“I started smoking late in life at the age of 54 due to stress and anxiety. I used to hate cigarettes, so it’s very ironic. I am 57. I quit in the summer of 2016 cold turkey because it was affecting my lungs. Then after four months, I started, again. Now, I am having difficulties quitting. I really can’t afford this habit, and I know it is or it will affect my health. I have one cigarette left and three 14-mg nicotine patches. I will start there. My state also offers a quitline where I can talk to counselors for so many sessions for free. I am also going to join sites for people quitting smoking. Thanks!”

Advice from Nebraska Physician, Dr. Bobby to Marlene:

It may be hard to believe, but the majority of people who have successfully quit smoking have done so by quitting cold turkey. They decided that they would never take another cigarette and they followed through on that promise to themselves.

Oral cancer and smoking lincoln family dentistry NE

Now it may seem odd that more people could quit this way than any other, especially since most physicians who have extensive knowledge in this area, advise that quitting cold turkey could be a very bad decision. But these statistics come straight from the American Cancer Society. More than 80% of those who have successfully quit smoking did so by the cold turkey method. Now you can’t just decide to stop smoking and have no plan beyond that and expect to be successful. Many of those who have quit cold turkey, did so with a lot of support from other people.

They surrounded themselves with people who cared about them and their success. They made a detailed plan about how they were going to go about quitting. This involved a lot of willpower, constant reminders about why they were quitting, and people who were looking out for their well-being.

As a physician, I have found that the following protocol will help: we all know that one of the big pleasures of smoking is to light up after eating, take that deep breath, and “relax.” Fool your brain as follows. Keep a pack of cigarettes in your pocket or purse.

  • Keep a lighter or matchbook with them.
  • After finishing a meal place a cigarette in your mouth and PRETEND to light it.
  • Take a deep drag on the unlit cigarette. Take some deep breaths and tell yourself how relaxed you feel.
  • Do this every day after each meal for two weeks and then gradually reduce the frequency.
  • Reward yourself as you realize that you are overcoming this horrible habit.
  • Remember that there are easier ways to die then in respiratory failure.

oral cancer and tips from former smokers Lincoln,NE dentists

Support Groups and Resources to Help You Quit Smoking

Tips From Former Smokers

These resources and information are courtesy of the Quit Smoking Community,
the CDC, and the Oropharyngeal Cancer Foundation.

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