Mouth Cancer Action Month is held in November every year, supported by the Oral Health Foundation and the Mouth Cancer Foundation. The purpose of this charity campaign is to raise awareness of mouth cancer and to save lives by promoting the values of prevention and early detection of the disease.
Mouth cancer is the cause of more deaths per number of cases than breast cancer, cervical cancer or melanomas. Last year, 2,722 British people lost their lives, however, awareness of the disease is generally low. Whilst new cases of mouth cancer in the UK have now reached 8,302 a year, a 49% increase in the last decade, three in four people do not know the major signs and symptoms for mouth cancer.
Saving lives through early detection
The chances of survival from cancers are significantly improved when the disease is detected early and treated quickly. It’s estimated that without early detection, in the next ten years, up to 60,000 people in the UK will be diagnosed with mouth cancer and around 30,000 of these people will die.
Mouth cancer can lead to disabilities including facial deformities, damage to the tongue and throat, and the loss of teeth. As a result, mouth cancer sufferers encounter many difficulties in speech, or in eating in public places.
To help save lives and prevent people from experiencing the terrible effects of mouth cancer, it’s essential to spread awareness of early detection, the signs and symptoms, and what people can do to prevent mouth cancer.
As Dental health professionals, we are committed to spearheading the fight against mouth cancer. Here’s how:
- We encourage that patients attend regular check-ups to ensure that their oral health is good, to screen for any signs of head, neck and mouth cancers, and to prevent any other potential problems.
- We promote a healthy lifestyle, good oral hygiene and warn of the dangers and risks of tobacco use, excessive alcohol consumption and the links between HPV and mouth cancer.
- We make a conscious effort to increase awareness of mouth cancers.
- We recommend that patients do not leave mouth ulcers unattended for more than three weeks.
- We promote that patients should not ignore any unusual lumps, swellings, or red and white patches in their mouths and regularly check their own mouth, lips, cheeks, head and neck for any changes.
The more people know about mouth cancer as well as signs and symptoms of the disease, and the more people that visit their dentist on a regular basis, we have a much-improved chance of detecting the disease as early as possible and therefore reducing the number of deaths as a result of mouth cancer.
To learn more about mouth cancer screening, or to arrange a dental check-up, be sure to call Southview Dental Care today on 01732 865 021.