Last month was Mouth Cancer Action Month, an awareness-raising initiative which aims to educate people more about mouth cancer and also help prevent and treat the disease.
According to the Oral Health Foundation, as many as 8,300 people in the UK each year are diagnosed with mouth cancer. This number is increasing year on year and is responsible for more deaths than testicular cancer and cervical cancer combined. The difference, however, is that both cervical cancer and testicular cancer have benefitted from some very effective awareness-building activity, which has really helped educate individuals about what to look out for in terms of symptoms. Mouth Cancer Action Month hopes to raise awareness of mouth cancer in a similar way.
In terms of awareness building, as with many nasty illnesses, the sooner you detect that something isn’t quite right, the sooner you can get it checked out – and if necessary, begin treatment. Tackling mouth cancer early gives people the best chance of survival.
The objectives of Mouth Cancer Awareness Month include:
- Helping people know and recognise the symptoms of mouth cancer
- Encouraging them to take greater awareness and responsibility for their oral
- Encouraging people to regularly check for unusual changes inside their mouths
- Being proactive if you believe you have found something unusual and get this checked out by a dentist quickly
The kind of unusual changes in your mouth that you should be looking out for includes red or white patches in the cheeks, mouth or throat, mouth ulcers that you just can’t seem to shift, or lumps/swollen areas in the mouth, head or neck area. If you notice any of these then don’t wait for your usual dental check-up, book in as quickly as possible. Best case scenario
is that it will be nothing to worry about but put your mind at rest by getting it checked by an expert.
It is widely recognised that smoking is one of the biggest contributing factors to mouth, throat, neck and many other cancers, so if you are smoker it is sensible to be even more vigilant.
For more advice or if you have any concerns, call 0117 905 9866 to book an appointment at our Bristol dental clinic.