NOVEMBER IS MOUTH CANCER ACTION MONTH and everyone at PMA Dental Care is helping to raise awareness of mouth cancer in Gravesend by organising free screening sessions.
Dentist Dr Amira Mathews‘ mother had her mouth cancer diagnosed by her dentist so we are acutely aware of the importance of early diagnosis.
Dr Amira Mathews says: “I became inspired to become a dentist at a very young age after my mother had treatment for oral cancer. It was actually diagnosed by a dentist and as a result she is a survivor.“
WHY should I be worried?
Latest figures show more than 6,500 people in the UK were diagnosed with mouth cancer – that’s 18 people every day. It is one of the few cancer variations on the rise – cases have increased by almost 50 per cent over the last decade – and it still claims more lives than cervical and testicular cancer combined. Early detection is so important – it transforms the five year survival rate from 50 per cent up to 90 per cent.
What can you do to reduce the risk and spot mouth cancer early?
There are a number of things you can do to reduce the risk of developing mouth cancer. These include:
- Avoid using tobacco in any form – smoked, chewed, or smokeless
- Avoid using betel nut (or areca nut), even without tobacco
- Cut down on alcohol: aim to drink no more than 1 standard drink a day (2-3 units) for women, or 2 standard drinks a day (3-4 units) for men
- Eat at least 5 servings of fruit and vegetables a day
- Protect your lips with sunscreen and a wide-brimmed hat, and spend time in the shade, when the sun’s UV rays are strong
- Reduce chances of infection with HPV by practicing safer sex.
By living such a healthy lifestyle, you can cut down the risk of mouth cancer, and also gain a wide range of other health benefits.
To spot mouth cancer early, get to know what is normal for you, and if you notice anything out of the ordinary in your mouth, tell your dentist, doctor or another healthcare professional without delay.
Particular signs to look out for are any red or white patch, ulcer, or lump in the mouth, which can be an early sign of cancer if lasting for 3 or more weeks.
Also, have yearly examinations by a dentist, even if you no longer have your own teeth. Dentists are trained to spot early signs of mouth cancer and can easily see parts of your mouth that you cannot see.
Free Screening Event
Early detection is crucial in mouth cancer and it an raise survival rates to 90%. PMA Dental Care Gravesend Kent are offering this free walk-in clinic to everyone who wants to come along. This event is part of our drive to raise awareness of Mouth Cancer Action Month 2013.
Meet the friendly team for a chat, advice and free screening. You do not even have to set foot in a surgery if you are particularly nervous!
Our local pharmacy, Regent Pharmacy, who are supporting this event will be on hand to provide advice on giving up smoking.
We always carry out mouth cancer screenings at PMA Dental Care as part of your regular check-up. If you want to book in for a check-up and get checked please call the practice on 0844 576 9905 or 01474 365671 to make an appointment.
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