• 5/29/2005
  • Australia
  • Australian Bbroasting Co. News Online (abc.net.au)

Smokers are being urged to kick the habit or risk developing life-threatening mouth cancers. The Australian Dental Association has issued the warning ahead of World No Tobacco Day, which falls on Tuesday.

The association’s Lena Lejmanoski says in Australia, 46 per cent of oral cancers in men and 36 per cent in women are caused by smoking. She says treatments for the cancers are distressing.

“Radical surgery can be a form of treatment with radiotherapy involved,” she said. “It can be very very disfiguring, giving them a severely compromised quality of life as far as their speech, their chewing and their swallowing.”

Ms Lejmanoski says smokers should get regular dental check-ups and look for early signs of the disease.

“A white patch in the mouth, a lump in the mouth or any lesion in the mouth that doesn’t heal,” she said.

“Early detection is very very important in basically helping to cure, give a potential cure for these cancers.”