To prevent oral cancer:
Don't smoke or use any tobacco products and drink alcohol in moderation (and refrain from binge drinking).
Eat a well-balanced diet.
Limit your exposure to the sun. Repeated exposure increases the risk of cancer on the lip, especially the lower lip. When in the sun, use UV-A/B-blocking sun-protective lotions on your skin, as well as your lips.
You can take an active role in detecting oral cancer early, should it occur, by doing the following:
Conduct a self-exam at least once a month. Using a bright light and a mirror, look and feel your lips and the front of your gums. Tilt your head back and look at and feel the roof of your mouth. Pull your checks out to view the inside of your mouth, the lining of your cheeks, and the back gums. Pull out your tongue and look at all surfaces; examine the floor of your mouth. Look at the back of your throat. Feel for lumps or enlarged lymph nodes in both sides of your neck and under your lower jaw. Call your dentist's office immediately if you notice any changes in the appearance of your mouth or any of the signs and symptoms mentioned above.
See your dentist on a regular schedule. Even though you may be conducting frequent self-exams, sometimes dangerous spots or sores in the mouth can be very tiny and difficult to see on your own. The American Cancer Society recommends oral cancer screening exams every 3 years for persons over age 20 and annually for those over age 40. During your next dental appointment, ask your dentist to perform an oral exam. Early detection can improve the chance of successful treatment.