Betelnut, smoke and alcohol contribute to mouth cancer

People are warned that too much alcohol, smoking and chewing of betelnut increases the chance of getting mouth cancer.

PNG Cancer Foundation’s volunteer health specialist Lois Booker told staff at Digicel PNG in Port Moresby today during PNGCF’s Biggest Morning Tea (BMT) Campaign.

Research suggests about 1 in 10 deaths in PNG are due to cancer.

Booker explained that the body is made up of tiny cells and cancer starts when one cell changes and grows out of control affecting nearby cells in a particular area of the body.

Most of the time the changing cells create a sore in your mouth that does not heal and this sore usually starts as a red or white patch in your mouth.

“When you see these signs, get checked up quickly as if found and treated at an early stage, the spread of cancer might be stopped and could save your life,” Booker said.

She stressed that the main causes of mouth cancer are betel nut, alcohol and tobacco and other causes include poor diet and family history.

People are urged not to chew betelnut, limit alcohol and don’t smoke. Eating healthy and exercise reduces the risk of getting some types of cancer.

Quintina Naime