Mouth Cancer Action Month is a charity campaign run by the Oral Health Foundation, which aims to raise awareness of mouth cancer and make a difference by saving thousands of lives through early detection and prevention.
Anyone can be affected by mouth cancer, whether they have their own teeth or not. Mouth cancers are more common in people over 40, particularly men. However, research has shown that mouth cancer is becoming more common in younger patients and in women. In the past year more than 7,000 people have been diagnosed with mouth cancer in the UK, and more than 1800 lose their life to this cancer every year. Many of these deaths could have been prevented with early detection of the disease.
Signs of mouth cancer
Mouth cancer can appear in different forms and can affect all parts of the mouth, tongue and lips. Three signs and symptoms that should not be ignored are:
- Ulcers that do not heal within three weeks
- Red and white patches in your mouth
- Unusual lumps or swellings in your mouth, jaw or neck.
So, if you are in any doubt, visit your dentist or doctor immediately, as early detection could save your life!
Most cases of mouth cancer are linked to smoking and and alcohol, and if tobacco and alcohol are consumed together, the risk is even greater. Over-exposure to sunlight can also increase the risk of cancer of the lips, so use a protective barrier cream. A poor diet is also a contributing factor, while a diet rich in vitamins A, C and E helps provide protection against the development of mouth cancer. In general, plenty of fruit and vegetables can help the body to protect itself from most cancers.
Ensure early detection
Rest assured, our dentists are trained to look for early signs of mouth cancer during routine dental appointments. Mouth cancer screening is a short procedure that involves a thorough examination of your whole mouth. Our dentists are looking for subtle changes in your mouth lining, so it is important that you have regular check-ups so that changes can be noticed, as well as for your overall dental and general health.
Until the end of the year, our dentists are offering all new patients a half price new patient examination*. To book or for further information, call 01252 713797 or click here to request a callback online.
The team at Elmsleigh House Dental Clinic support mouth cancer action during November, and throughout the year.
*Book your half price new patient exam by 29/12/17; not applicable to referred patients, where usual fees apply.