Skip to content

How can tobacco cause mouth cancer? Oncologist shares key details of silent epidemic | health news


Smoking is one of the leading causes of preventable death worldwide, with profound effects on both individual and public health. The habit of smoking tobacco products, including cigarettes and cigars, exposes individuals to a myriad of health risks, ranging from respiratory ailments to life-threatening illnesses. Breathing in tobacco smoke introduces a complex mix of chemicals into the body, which cause inflammation, tissue damage and increase the risk of various cancers.

According to Dr. Eshu Gupta, Chief Oncologist, Cancer Cancer Hospital, Delhi, “Tobacco use has long been recognized as a significant health risk, contributing to various fatal diseases. In India, oral cancer statistics are particularly alarming. Recent data highlight high rates of direct association with tobacco use. The nation’s significant burden of oral cancer is high. The urgent need for preventive measures is clear, emphasizing the importance of public awareness campaigns, tobacco cessation programs, and support systems to educate individuals about the dangers of tobacco use and those who want to quit.”

The link between tobacco use and cancer

The correlation between tobacco use and the rise of oral cancer serves as a stark reminder of the dangers associated with this habit. “Nicotine, a key component of tobacco, plays a central role in the development of cancer cells in the oral cavity. This highly addictive substance found in cigarettes, cigars and smokeless tobacco products not only keeps individuals hooked but also contributes to the onset of cancer,” highlights Dr. Eshu Gupta. do

How does tobacco use cause oral cancer?

Chemicals released during tobacco combustion expose the delicate tissues of the mouth to harmful substances, triggering chronic inflammation and cell damage.

Tobacco smoke contains a dangerous mixture of carcinogens, including formaldehyde, benzene and acrolein, which can cause precancerous lesions such as leukoplakia and erythroplakia. If left untreated, these lesions can turn into full-blown oral cancer.

Smokeless tobacco products, such as chewing tobacco and snuff, pose an equal threat to oral health. Direct contact with the gums, lips and inner cheeks exposes these areas to concentrated levels of harmful chemicals, causing constant irritation and friction. This can lead to the development of malignant tumors, especially in areas where tobacco is in constant contact.

Recognizing the insidious but devastating nature of tobacco-related oral health risks empowers us to make informed decisions, protecting our well-being and that of future generations. Public education, cessation programs, and support networks are important tools in combating this preventable epidemic.