Last year we decided to get involved with Mouth Cancer Action Month.Mouth Cancer Action Month is a charity campaign which aims to raise awareness of mouth cancer and make a difference by saving thousands of lives through early detection and prevention. The overarching aim of mouth cancer action month is to get more mouth cancers diagnosed at an early stage by increasing education of the risk factors and signs and symptoms while encouraging everybody to discuss them with their dental professional.
Signs and symptoms:
- Ulcers which do not heal in 3 weeks
- Red and white patches in the mouth
- Unusual lumps or swellings in the mouth, head or neck area
If any of these are noticed, it is essential that you tell your dentist or doctor immediately.
Mouth cancer takes the lives of more than 2,000 people each year in the UK, which is more than testicular and cervical cancer combined. Mouth cancer also takes more lives a year than road traffic accidents. Knowing more about the risk factors and signs and symptoms can help reduce the number of lives mouth cancer claims. In the UK, more than 7,000 people were diagnosed with mouth cancer last year. The disease has grown by a third in the last decade and remains one of very few cancers which are predicted to increase further in the coming years. Although there are risk factors heavily linked to the disease, like any cancer mouth cancer can affect anybody – that’s why it’s so important that we all know what to look out for. Early detection saves lives.
- Smoking – smokers are 3 times more likely than non smokers to develop mouth cancer
- Alcohol – drinking alcohol to excess is a major risk factor. This combined with smoking increases the risk of mouth cancer by up to 30 times
- Diet – a healthy diet rich in fruit and vegetables will help keep your body healthy, reducing the risk
We routinely screen our patients for oral cancer simply call the practice on 01443 816160 to arrange an appointment.
More can be read about the campaign at http://www.mouthcancer.org/