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Smoke-Free Smiles: Igniting Change on World No Tobacco Day!

World No Tobacco Day: Breaking the Link Between Tobacco and Oral Cancer

Join the Global Movement Towards a Tobacco-Free World

New Delhi: On this World No Tobacco Day, we raise awareness about the grave correlation between tobacco use and oral cancer. As a leading head and neck cancer surgeon at Max Hospital, I have witnessed the devastating impact of tobacco on countless lives. It is imperative that we understand the dangers and take proactive steps to break the link between tobacco and oral cancer.

The Oral Cancer Epidemic: A Global Concern
Oral cancer continues to be a global health concern, affecting millions of lives each year. Tobacco use, whether in the form of cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco, or paan masala, is a significant risk factor for developing this malignant disease. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately 80% of oral cancer cases are attributed to tobacco use.

Tobacco: A Global Health Crisis with Profound Impact in India

Tobacco consumption remains a pressing global health crisis, affecting nations across the world, including India. Here are some eye-opening facts and figures that highlight the severity of the tobacco epidemic in India:

  1. High Prevalence: India has one of the largest populations of tobacco users in the world, with an estimated 267 million individuals consuming tobacco in various forms.
  2. Devastating Health Consequences: Tobacco use in India leads to more than 1 million deaths annually, making it a significant contributor to the country’s disease burden. It is associated with several life-threatening conditions, including lung cancer, oral cancer, heart disease, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
  3. Youth and Tobacco: Tobacco addiction often starts during adolescence. Shockingly, in India, around 5,500 children and teenagers experiment with tobacco use every day, putting them at risk of lifelong addiction and its associated health consequences.
  4. Economic Toll: Tobacco-related healthcare costs and productivity losses in India amount to a staggering 1.7% of the country’s GDP, causing a significant strain on the healthcare system and the economy as a whole.

Dr. Sumanth Bollu is an esteemed professional in the field of Head and Neck Oncology. With a wealth of experience in Oncology Ablation and Reconstruction Surgeries, as well as expertise in Voice and Laryngeal Preservation Surgeries, Dr. Bollu has dedicated his career to the pursuit of excellence in surgical oncology.

Currently serving as an Associate Consultant in Surgical Oncology at Max Super Speciality Hospital Vaishali, Dr. Bollu brings his extensive knowledge and skills to the forefront of patient care. He has also held prestigious positions, including Chief Resident during his M.Ch residency at AIIMS, New Delhi.

Dr. Bollu completed his M.Ch in Head and Neck Surgery & Oncology from the renowned All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi. He further honed his skills through a fellowship in Phono-Surgery at Medanta, The Medicity, Gurugram. His academic journey began with an MS in ENT from AIIMS, New Delhi, and he obtained his MBBS from DR. N.T.R University of Health Sciences in Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh.

Throughout his career, Dr. Bollu has been recognized for his exceptional work. He has received awards such as the Temporal Bone Dissection Competition Award at MAMC and AOI Delhi in 2014, the Quiz Prize at Laryngology Update 2016, and the Best Paper Presentation at FHNO in December 2020.

Specializing in Head and Neck Oncology, Skull Base Surgeries, Airway Surgeries, Conservation Laryngeal Surgeries, and Trans-Oral Resections, including Robotic Surgeries, Laser, and Tran-Oral Ultrasonic Surgery (TOUSS), Dr. Bollu possesses a wide range of surgical expertise. He is also trained in Reconstruction Surgeries and Microvascular techniques, emphasizing his commitment to comprehensive patient care.

With his dedication to Head and Neck Rehabilitation, Dr. Sumanth Bollu strives to provide the highest quality of care to his patients, ensuring their well-being and optimal outcomes.

Understanding the Link: Tobacco and Oral Cancer
Tobacco contains numerous harmful substances, including nicotine, tar, and carcinogens. These chemicals, when introduced to the oral cavity, can wreak havoc on our body’s delicate tissues, leading to the following:

  • Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma (OSCC): Tobacco use significantly increases the risk of developing OSCC, the most common type of oral cancer. OSCC affects the lips, tongue, cheeks, gums, and throat, and early detection is crucial for successful treatment.
  • Leukoplakia: Tobacco consumption can cause the formation of white or gray patches in the mouth, known as leukoplakia. While not all cases of leukoplakia progress to cancer, these patches often indicate an increased risk of malignant transformation.
  • Oral Submucous Fibrosis (OSF): Chewing tobacco, including gutka and paan masala, can lead to the development of OSF. This condition causes the mucous membranes of the mouth to become stiff and fibrous, impairing speech, eating, and swallowing, and raising the risk of oral cancer.
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  • Seek Professional Help: Reach out to healthcare professionals, support groups, or helplines to aid you in your journey towards a tobacco-free life. They can provide guidance, resources, and counseling to assist in overcoming addiction.
  • Lifestyle Modifications: Engage in healthy activities, such as regular exercise, to manage cravings and improve overall well-being. Replace tobacco habits with positive habits like chewing sugar-free gum or snacking on fruits.
  • Support from Loved Ones: Inform your friends, family, and colleagues about your decision to quit tobacco. Their encouragement and understanding will provide invaluable support during this challenging transition.

Together, We Can Make a Difference!

On this World No Tobacco Day, let us pledge to break the link between tobacco and oral cancer. By raising awareness, supporting those who wish to quit, and advocating for stricter tobacco control policies, we can create a tobacco-free world for generations to come. Remember, your decision to quit tobacco today can save your life and inspire others to follow suit.

Join the global movement towards a tobacco-free world.

On this World No Tobacco Day, let us remember that collective action has the power to bring about meaningful change. By taking a stand against tobacco, we can safeguard the health and well-being of millions in India. Together, let us envision a future where every individual breathes freely in a tobacco-free environment.

For more information, resources, and support, contact
Dr Sumanth Bollu, Max Super Speciality Hospital, Vaishali

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Dr Sumanth Bollu

Max Super Speciality Hospital, Vaishali Associate Consultant Cancer Care / Oncology / Surgical Oncology / Head & Neck Oncology Experience in Oncology, Ablation & Reconstruction Surgeries, Expertise in Voice & Laryngeal Preservation Surgeries

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