If in doubt get it checked out
Here is a headline fact that may shock you, one person in the UK dies from mouth cancer every five hours, mouth cancer kills more people than cervical cancer and testicular cancers combined. Surprising or what?
Over the past decade, cases of mouth cancer have risen by 41% and a lack of public awareness has been highlighted as a major contributing factor for this increase. Many people aren’t sure of the symptoms and may aren’t even aware of the existence of mouth cancer at all! An early diagnosis improves survival chances to more 90%. However many cases of mouth cancer are detected at a late stage, reducing the chances of survival.
So what can you do detect a mouth cancer. Regular dental health checks will help. At the Spicer Road Dental Practice we always check our patients for signs of mouth cancer at every six monthly dental health check. We check our patient lips, cheeks, tongue roof and floor of their mouths for ulcers, red or white patches or unusual lumps or swelling.
What puts you at risk of mouth cancer? 75% of cases are linked to tobacco use or excess alcohol consumption. People who both drink and smoke are up to 30 times more likely to develop the condition. Poor diet is linked to about a third of cases, eating five portions of fruit or vegetables help to reduce your risk. The risk of developing mouth cancer increases with age, most cases affect people over 40 years of age, however an increasing number of young people are developing the condition.
The most important thing to remember is that early diagnosis of mouth cancer can save your life. If you have a lump, swelling or ulcer does not heal within three weeks consult a dentist and get the area checked out.
For more information visit www.mouthcancer.org .
If in doubt get it checked out!