Mouth cancer is one of the UK’s fastest increasing cancers, with cases up by almost 40 per cent in the last decade and 70 per cent of cases diagnosed in men.
Organised by the British Dental Health Foundation, Mouth Cancer Action Month runs throughout November and aims to raise awareness of mouth cancer and make a difference by saving thousands of lives through early detection and prevention.
At mydentist this early detection is very important to us, so we’re urging people to register for NHS dental treatment to mark the beginning of Mouth Cancer Action Month. In the UK, more than 6,700 people were diagnosed with mouth cancer last year, which is a third increase in the last decade – and remains to be one of very few cancers which are predicted to increase further in the coming years – that’s why this campaign is all about taking ACTION!
Although there are risk factors heavily linked to the disease, mouth cancer can affect anybody – that’s why it’s so important that we all know what to look out for:
- Mouth cancer, also known as oral cancer, is where a tumour develops on the surface of the tongue, mouth, lips or gums.
- Tumours can also occur in the salivary glands, tonsils and the pharynx (the part of the throat from your mouth to your windpipe) but these are less common.
Symptoms can include:
- red or white patches on the lining of your mouth or tongue
- a lump
Risk factors for developing mouth cancer include:
- smoking or using products that contain tobacco
- drinking alcohol – smokers who are also heavy drinkers have a much higher risk compared to the population at large
- infection with the human papilloma virus (HPV), the virus that causes genital warts
Steve Williams, mydentist clinical director said: “It’s not all bad news, by making sure patients have regular check-ups we can diagnose more mouth cancers at an early stage. Early treatment is vital and drastically increases the chances of beating the disease, as this prevents the cancer from developing.”
So, take action this month and visit your local mydentist practice for a check-up
Spread the message on social media!