Home » Shisha smoking can lead to Mouth Cancer, Medical Experts warns Nigerians

Shisha smoking can lead to Mouth Cancer, Medical Experts warns Nigerians

by Okechukwu Liberty
shisha

Shisha smoking can lead to Mouth Cancer, Medical Experts warns Nigerians

Many shisha products, a type of tobacco offered in the country, come from unregulated sources, according to dental specialists, and may contain high quantities of cancer-causing chemicals.

This was stated in a statement released in Lagos to commemorate World Oral Health Day.

Prof. Omolara Uti, Dr Jumoke Effiom, Dr Abdul Warith Akinshipo, and Dr Ernest Aforka, all of the Faculty of Dental Sciences, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, signed the declaration.

According to the Nigerian News Agency (NAN), World Oral Health Day is observed every year on March 20. This year’s theme is “Be Proud of Your Mouth.”

Shisha is a type of tobacco smoking that has become popular in recent years, with many people who do not smoke cigarettes taking up the habit.

It is thought to be a healthier alternative to smoking. It’s also known as a goza, a hookah, or a water pipe.

The specialists stated that shisha smoking was growing more popular in society, stressing that tobacco use, whether smoked or smokeless, was the most well-known risk factor for oral cancer.

Tobacco products, they claim, contain compounds like tar, which irritate the mouth lining when burned and induce changes in the DNA of the cells lining the mouth, leading to oral cancer.

“In fact, a combination of cigarette smoking and alcohol drinking causes 60% of oral malignancies,” they stated.

Dental cancer can be caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), poor oral health, and gum disease, according to the researchers, who also noted that exposure to paint or industrial pollutants can raise the risk of developing mouth cancer.

Mouth cancer can arise in any portion of the mouth, according to experts, and it is the eighth-most prevalent cancer in the head and neck region worldwide.

“In Nigeria, a minimum of 1,100 people were diagnosed with oral cancer in 2012 and about 750 people with oral cancer died that year.

“This is a very conservative figure based on the lack of accurate data.

“They occur more in men than in women and although it can occur at any age, they are most common after the age of 40 with a peak age of 60,” they said.

They stated that the survival rate for oral cancer was dismal, with less than half of patients alive after five years and that early identification boosted survival odds to 80%.

Experts blamed the low survival rate on patients’ late arrival at the hospital, claiming that many patients ignored the early signs and symptoms of oral cancer.

Unhealed mouth sores, lumps in the mouth, unusual bleeding, and white or red patches on the gums, tongue, or mouth, according to them, are all signs of the condition.

Others include a lump in the neck, chronic sore throat, hoarseness, and pain in the mouth or ears, as well as changes in speech or difficulty pronouncing words.

They did say, however, that having these symptoms does not necessarily signal you have cancer, and that they could be caused by other things.

Oral cancer treatment options, according to specialists, include surgery, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy, with the latter allowing the patient to live a healthy and long life.

They also recommended quitting smoking, limiting alcohol use, and getting regular dental checkups to avoid oral cancer.

On the one hand, the experts urged the federal government to implement the restriction on the sale or access to tobacco products for people under the age of 18, as well as limits on the use of industrial chemicals.

They did, however, emphasize the importance of enforcing safety measures for workers in industrial complexes.

The experts went on to say that healthcare staff at all levels should be trained to recognize the early signs and symptoms of oral cancer and to refer patients to specialists as soon as possible.

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