Mouth Cancer Action Month 2016

7,000 BRITS WERE DIAGNOSED WITH MOUTH CANCER LAST YEAR. The disease is one of the UK’s fastest increasing cancers, with cases rising by a 33% in the last decade alone.

Mouth Cancer Action Month is about taking action and raising awareness, particularly among those groups who are most at risk. You should look out for ulcers which do not heal within three weeks, red and white patches in the mouth, and unusual lumps or swellings. Regularly visiting your dentist means they can check for signs of mouth cancer.

Early Diagnosis Saves Lives

A mouth ulcer that does not heal within three weeks, red or white patches in the mouth and unusual lumps or swellings in the mouth or head and neck area, can all be potential signs of mouth cancer so it’s important to be aware of any changes occurring inside your mouth.

Quite often it is easier to notice lumps and bumps on the outside of the body or to dismiss a mouth ulcer as benign. Most of us will spend at least a few minutes every day in front of a mirror brushing our teeth so while we’re there it makes sense to have a quick look inside the mouth.

If you keep a lookout for these symptoms then a simple 45 second check really could save your life.

If you notice anything out of the ordinary, please speak to your dentist or a doctor

If In Doubt, Get Checked Out

During every dental check-up, your dentist will do a visual examination for mouth cancer and look for anything that might be a cause for concern. That’s why it’s so important to keep regular dental check-ups – it’s not just about the health of our teeth and gums – a trip to the dentist could really be a life saver.

signs-and-symptoms-of-mouth-cancer poster

Maouth Cancer Risk Factors

Mouth cancer can affect anybody and is partly associated with the age and gender of a person but the most important factors are linked to lifestyle in 91% of cases.

  1. Tobacco – The majority of mouth cancer cases continue to be as result of smoking and tobacco use.
  2. Alcohol – Drinking alcohol to excess is another major risk factor linked with mouth cancer.
  3. The Human papillomavirus (HPV) – Limiting the number of partners you have and practising safe sex will reduce the risk.
  4. Diet – Up to half of all mouth cancer cases are partly due to poor diet.
  5. Chewing or smokeless tobacco – Although safere than smoking these present a significant risk.
  6. Environmental – Second-hand or environmental tobacco smoke has been named a probable cause of mouth cancer.
mouth cancer risk factors

Despite HPV’s impact on the health of both sexes, the UK’s HPV immunisation programme is exclusively for females. You can find out more about HPV and the gender-neutral vaccination campaign at www.hpvaction.org

Making changes to your lifestyle choices can help cut the chances of developing mouth cancer.

Be Mouthaware

PMA Dental Care, is urging Gravesend residents to be more Mouthaware and recognise the early warning signs of mouth cancer, during November’s Mouth Cancer Action Month.

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health care professionals with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.