With the consumption of gutkha, bidi, and tobacco, there is a high risk of oral cancer. On this a nationwide awareness campaign is being run. Though graphical warnings are being displayed on the cigarette packets, the number of people suffering from oral cancer is still rising.
Due to awareness many people have started seeing doctors. The government dental colleges in the state are seeing around 300 to 350 patients every day.
In the recent tests done by the Government Dental College, on patients suffering from the tooth-related ailments, as many as 2,281 people were diagnosed with the pre-cancerous stage of oral cancer. And around 281 people were diagnosed with advanced stage of oral cancer. Of the 2,562 people, as many as 1,482 people have already started the treatment on the same.
Dr Mansingh Pawar, Dean of Government Dental College, said, “It is a misconception that dental cavity causes oral cancer. It is the consumption of tobacco that causes oral cancer. We are treating some patients, while some are being referred to Tata Memorial Hospital for further treatment.”
Experts say that difficulty in opening of the mouth, putting two-three fingers at a time, healing ulcers with medication, red-white patches on the tongue, chewing food and drinking water are some of the symptoms of developing oral cancer.
Symptoms of oral cancer:
- Difficulty while opening the mouth
- Difficulty in putting two-three fingers at a time
- Difficulty in healing ulcers with medication
- Red-white patches on tongue
- Difficulty in chewing food and drinking water
Dr Sonal Kadam, Professor at Government Dental College, said, “There are two main types of oral cancers. In one, we can see white-red patches on tongue. While in the other, there is itching in the mouth. It is also difficult to open mouth and to move tongue in the second type of oral cancer.”