Friday, 21 March 2014

Top 10 tips to keep oral cancer at bay

Top 10 tips to keep oral cancer at bay

20th March is World Oral Health Day. 
‘Quit smoking!’, ‘Don’t chew tobacco!’, ‘Ban gutka!’, ‘Keep away from second hand smoke!’, ‘Smoking causes cancer’ — all this advice usually tends to fall on deaf ears. Even gory ads portraying people dying of cancer solely because they chewed tobacco or smoked, has not seemed to make a dent in the number of people smoking or indulging in smokeless tobacco. So where are all the anti-tobacco and anti-cancer crusaders falling short? Well, it might just be their approach. In a new way to approach the problem, Dr Pankaj Chaturvedi, renowned Head and Neck surgeon at Tata Memorial Hospital, and an fervent crusader against tobacco tells you about 10 ways you can prevent the disease. After all prevention is better than cure — especially in the case of cancer.  
Today oral cancer is becoming an increasingly common disease that affects people from all walks of life, age groups and genders. Due to the stress of modern life, it is imperative for all of us to pay heed to our health by adopting certain lifestyle changes. In fact, the problem of oral cancer is so bad that India is known as the oral cancer capital of the world with 86 percent of the world’s cases recorded in the country. This is probably also due to the fact that India is renowned for its gutka and tobacco product consumption.
It is a serious cause of concern that the number of cancer patients amongst the youth is on the rise and many of them could be victims of cancer due to their consumption of oral forms of tobacco.
There is a misconception that cancer is an unavoidable disease. The general tendency among most people is to blame fate or bad luck for the disease. The fact is that cancer like most other diseases are caused by a variety of choices that we make throughout our lives. Smoking, drinking, eating junk food and a sedentary lifestyle as well as many more factors play a part in causing cancer. Here are some changes that you can make to your lifestyle to avoid the dreaded disease:
1. Quit Tobacco Chewing: It is a proven fact that tobacco whether chewed raw or in the form of gutka is the single biggest cause of oral cancer in India. 
2. Quit Smoking: Smoking in any form whether cigarettes, bidi, pipes or hukka is well known to cause oral cancer. Read more about the 25 things that happen in your body when you smoke. 
3. Quit Betel nut and Pan masala: Betel nut or supari is an independent risk factor for oral cancer and it is the main ingredients of pan masala.
4. Quit Alcohol: Alcohol is an established risk factor for oral cancer. The carcinogenicity increases many folds when consumed along with tobacco.
5. Maintain Good Oral Hygiene: Brush and floss your teeth daily as bad oral hygiene is a known risk factor for oral cancer.
6. Regular Self Oral examination: Examine your oral cavity in good light once every month to look for non-healing ulcers, areas of bleeding, abnormal patches or any swellings, as these may be signs of cancer and early detection means better cure.
7. Regular Dental Checkup: The dentist may be the first person to detect oral cancer, also inform him about any sharp tooth causing repeated trauma.
8. Avoid Increased Sun Exposure: UV rays are a known risk factor for cancer especially of the lower lip. Try and limit sun exposure and ensure that you wear sun screen whilst going out.
9. Don’t ignore any ulcer / bleeding / pain: If you spot any ulcers or bleeding that do not respond to treatment for 2 -3 months, please go get it checked out as it could be something more serious.
10. Proper Diet and a Healthy Lifestyle: A diet rich in vegetables, fruits and nuts with regular exercise is known to protect from oral cancer. Most of us have sedentary lifestyles and we must try and balance this by doing some form of regular exercise.
You may also like to read: 
• Giving up the tobacco habit – a cancer survivor’s tale
• Oral cancer: Symptoms, diagnosis and treatment
• Oral cancer: Playing with fire
• Are cancer survivors ‘disabled’? (Exclusive interview)
• Gutka ban – just on paper!
• What is HPV?
For more articles, check out our oral cancer and war on cancer section. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for all the latest updates! For daily free health tips, sign up for our newsletter. And to join discussions on health topics of your choice, visit our forum.



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Our Vision and Services

Our vision is of a society where no one should experience discrimination on the grounds of their mental health.

Mental health problems are extremely common across society, with one in four of us experiencing them in any year. Despite being so common, people from all communities will still experience discriminatory attitudes and behaviours that can prevent people from speaking out, seeking support and playing full and active roles in our communities. The impact of mental health stigma and discrimination will vary between communities as mental health has a cultural context that affects the way communities talk about the subject and engage with people who have mental health problems. In some cultures depression, for example, doesn't exist and in others an experience of a mental health problem can be attached to a sense of shame.

For the African and Caribbean communities a key issue is the overrepresentation of young African and Caribbean men in mental health services. Misconceptions and stereotypes have led to a perception that this group is more likely to pose a risk of violent behaviour and, as a result, they are more likely to be treated as inpatients and sectioned when compared to other groups. It is well documented that this has led to a fear of talking about mental health issues more openly and a fear of using mental health services. Research by the Race Equality Foundation (2011) also highlighted fears that discrimination against Black & Minority Ethnic (BME) communities and migrant service users will increase in the austerity climate and whilst commissioning arrangements change.

Our Services

· Provide information, advice, advocacy

· Represent diversity communities in Health Care services, policies and strategies

· Organise training in health and social care in collaboration with local colleges

· Provide human resources ( including interpreters) who are suitable to the diversity communities especially to break language and cultural barriers

· Provides domiciliary care and support

· Provide services such specialised support for people with mental health needs, including people who suffer from short-term memory problems, Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease.

· Provide visits to elderly people and help them with outings and home services

· Participate in local authority and NHS consultations , research events and programmes to voice the needs of diversity communities.

· Increase access to services and rights for disadvantaged people and the most vulnerable of our society

· Help and support unemployed people to look for work, including training and job preparation

· Provide legal advice in a range of issues from on Immigration and Asylum , welfare benefits, housing, health, education, community care, and training, employment, etc.

· Provide advice and guidance, information and practical help so that our service users can access opportunities they are entitled to

· Organise training and other community learning opportunities that provide new skills, increase confidence and motivation

· Support our service users to overcome barriers to learning, employment and training

· Provide support for young people with their education, training, confidence building, employment and social needs.

Objectives of our Diversity Living Programme:

· To promote the inclusion and participation of diversity communities* in integrated care.

· To inform policy, locally and nationally, and assisting in the formulation of effective policies, strategies and good practices in integrated care in order to contribute to improved health outcomes for the people from the diversity communities (e.g. Black and minority ethnic communities) and to ensure health services are able to meet their specific needs.

· To improve the quality of life for diversity people with disability, mental health problems and their families and carers through integrated care by providing inclusive advocacy and information.

· To provide service that enable diversity groups and individuals with disability /elderly and their carers to make the right choice for themselves and have an influence on decisions made about their future.

· To promote the rights of diversity people with disability, their families and carers and make sure their rights are safe and protected.

· To promoting access to information regarding healthcare issues and to raise awareness of the needs of diversity disabled children, young people, older people and their families.

· To promote the rights of older and disabled diversity people, helping them overcome and enable them to participate in decisions about their future

· To provide support and information to those suffering the isolation and loneliness that can be associated with disability and old age

· To fight against mental health stigma in refugee, black and minority ethnic communities and ensure no one should experience discrimination on the grounds of their mental health or disability.

*Diversity communities are older people, disabled people, Black, Asian, refugees, migrants, asylum seekers and other ethnic minorities.