SAY NO TO TOBACCO Stay on safe side with DIY test

Stay on safe side with DIY test.HEAD AND NECK CANCER WEEK: Try mouth self-examination to detect disease.

You might want to do a mouth examination for cancer if you smoke, chew tobacco or consume alcohol on a regular basis. Because if you are addicted to any one or to all, you fall in the highrisk group.

To coincide with the Head and Neck Cancer Week (May 8 to 15) the department of science and technology has evolved Indian Mouth Self-Examination (MSE) guidelines. A self-administered test, all you need to do is check the interiors of your mouth from different angles to watch for any cancerous or pre-cancerous oral lesions. Oral cancer can be detected at an early stage this way and treated successfully. Despite being the most common and one of the most dangerous, oral cancers are potentially preventable and easily detectable.


As part of the MSE project, a brochure was created which contained information on oral cancer, its risk factors and the methods to perform MSE. It also had instructions to report to the oral cancer-screening clinic, in case of identification of any suspicious lesions.


The department conducted a study in two adjacent coastal villages of Kerala, with a population of 5,7704: 33% males and only 3% females had one or more high-risk habits. Amongst the study group, 1,352 persons did not respond to the questions related to the prevalence of risk habits. Of the ones with risk habits, 96% smokers, 96% chewers and 97% of those who consumed alcohol were aware that their habits could cause oral cancer.  After the MSE process was conducted, health workers checked the subjects. It was found that 219 had suspicious oral lesions.

However, only 70 subjects reported to the screening clinic (compliance: 32%). In the village where it was held, 791 subjects (2.3%) refused oral examination by health workers. It was found that the refusals were by subjects with high-risk factors.


Professor and director of surgical oncology at Mazumdar Shaw Cancer Centre and coauthor of the study, Dr Moni Abraham Kuriakose said, “Oral cancers are the highest in India. The West has managed to reduce tobacco consumption except in parts of Eastern Europe. But here, we have tobacco chewers. But the good thing is that if highrisk populations do MSE regularly, we can detect oral cancer at a very early stage. It can also be treated. For instance, in this study itself we found 202 people in the precancerous stage,” he said. QUICK READ. Read more…


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