Did you know that there are more than 8000 new cases of mouth cancer diagnosed every year? And did you know that it can affect anyone? Yes, even you. So be aware of the facts and don’t let your mouth cancer go undiagnosed.
November is UK’s Mouth Cancer Action Month, which aims to raise awareness of the disease. And as a dental team whose priority it is to ensure the optimum mouth health of our patients, this is a cause that’s very close to our hearts.
Many people are unaware that mouth cancer even exists, but the fact is that cases of the disease are on the rise with The State of Mouth Cancer UK Report 2018/2019, reporting many more new cases of mouth cancer each month. Last year, 2,722 people in the UK lost their life due to mouth cancer. In the UK its prevalence has increased by 135% in the last two decades.
What are the warning signs?
If you have mouth ulcers that have been hanging around for a long time, red or white patches or unusual lumps, bumps or swellings on your face and neck, lips or tongue then get it checked out immediately – these are three common warning signs of mouth cancer. The earlier the disease is diagnosed then the better the survival rate so it’s important you don’t leave these things to just ‘go away’.
A high proportion (56%) of mouth cancers appear on the tongue and tonsils so regular visits to your dental team can mean that mouth cancer-related problems can be detected early, which increases the chances of a full recovery.
How can you reduce your risk?
According to the UK report, 91% of mouth cancer cases in the UK are linked to lifestyle. Those everyday choices we make such as smoking cigarettes or drinking excessive amounts of alcohol significantly increases our risk of developing the disease.
Better lifestyle choices, earlier diagnosis and regular visits to your dentist can all reduce your risk. Don’t leave it to chance, get your mouth checked out by making an appointment with us. Or find out more at www.mouthcancer.org.