Oral Cancer – Spotting the Signs

05 July 2016

Stop Oral Cancer
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Almost everyone in the UK has been affected by cancer at some point; it tragically claims the lives of thousands every year; infact six in ten of us know somebody with the disease. But with awareness and research breakthroughs rising fast, so are survival rates.

As a dental practice, we can spot the signs of oral cancer early and help you to take the next step. Our friendly staff will be here to support you from the moment you walk through the door.

We screen you for oral cancer at every check up in our 15-point healthy mouth check. We will assess your tongue and look for lumps and other signs of the disease.

What Is Oral Cancer?

Oral cancer (or mouth cancer) is where a tumour develops on the surface of the tongue, mouth, lips or gums. It is now the tenth most common cancer in UK men and fifteenth in UK women.

The majority of oral cancers are of the tongue, mouth, tonsils and the part of the throat called the oropharynx.

in 2011, 6,767 people were diagnosed with mouth cancer in the UK. That’s one person diagnosed every 77 minutes.

Why the Rise?

There’s been a significant rise in oral cancer since 2002, with 12 in 100,000 people diagnosed.

Over the years, society changes and so do our lifestyles. The rates of many types of cancer are linked to the things we do on a daily basis.

The biggest risk factor for developing mouth cancer is smoking, chewing tobacco and heavy drinking.

The sexually transmitted disease human papilloma virus (HPV) is the virus that causes genital warts and can also lead to mouth cancer.

What Are The Symptoms?

  • A white or red patch in the mouth or throat that will not go away.
  • A lump or thickening on the lip, or in the mouth or throat.
  • Difficulty or pain with chewing or swallowing.
  • A feeling that something is caught in the throat.
  • Unusual bleeding or numbness in the mouth.
  • Loose teeth for no apparent reason

How to Reduce The Risk

The NHS states the three most effective ways to prevent oral cancer or stop it happening are the following:

  • Don’t smoke, or quit as soon as possible
  • Stick to the recommended weekly limits for alcohol consumption (21 units for men and 14 units for women)
  • Eat a Mediterranean-style diet whenever possible. This consists of plenty of fruit and vegetable, particularly tomatoes, citrus fruits, olive oil and fish.
  • It’s important to visit your dentist every 6 months for a check up

Remember early detection for mouth cancer results in a survival outcome of 90%, an excellent rate. However, delayed diagnosis plummets that figure to 50%. With one person in ten unaware of the threat, help spread the word and raise awareness.

To book in for our 15 point healthy mouth check, which includes screening for oral cancer, call us on 0114 2295020 or enquire online.

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