Cancer is something that all people will likely ponder during their lifetime: Will I get cancer? What do I do now that my loved one is ill? How can I prevent it? Oral cancer is not to be taken lightly, just because it is in the mouth it doesn’t mean it is any less dangerous than other types. While there are many varying causes for it, many of the reasons stem from lifestyle choices.
Preventing oral cancer is much like preventing any sort of ailment: by keeping healthy with proper nutrition, exercise, self-care, and stress control. While you already know you’re supposed to eat more veggies, and less sugar–what would you do if you could go back in time to fix these cravings? Maybe you would opt-out of the breakfast pop-tarts or binging on chips after school. If you are a new parent: you have do have the power to tune your child’s tastebuds towards healthier foods.
Even food preparation should be considered in an anti-cancer diet: opt for steamed, boiled, or baked foods instead of grilled or fried. While kiddies might not enjoy the taste of cruciferous vegetables (like Brussels’s sprouts and broccoli) or dark green leafy vegetables, you can always learn how to creatively add them into foods. Many people puree these veggies and add them from everything from pasta sauce, to quesadillas, to smoothies!
Exercise should also be a part of your child’s daily life, and yours too! Kids should get at least 60 minutes of physical activity a day. Exercise is not just good for the body, it can also serve as a stress-reliever and constructive outlet for any negative feelings which may have accumulated throughout the day. Keeping your child’s self-esteem up and mind sharp can make for a promising future as much as diet and exercise.
Instilling healthy habits like these, along with brushing, flossing, and regular dentist visits can severely cut your child’s chances of getting oral cancer when they get older. Also, it’s good to regularly talk about how dangerous activities like smoking and drinking can be, and how much more at risk they are for cancer and disease. Keep an eye on their oral habits, and make sure to find out of head or neck cancer runs in your family.
Sun Valley Pediatric wishes you health and happiness for your families, always!