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Becoming more mouth aware could save your life

by Dental Design, on 16th March 2023 | Comments Off on Becoming more mouth aware could save your life

Last Updated on 16th March 2023

New cases of mouth cancer in the UK have risen to a record high, according to a new report, and this causes us great concern at Evesham Dental Health Team.

Figures collected by the Oral Health Foundation show that 8,864 people were diagnosed with the disease in 2021. This has increased by 34% compared to 10 years ago and has more than doubled (103%) within the last generation.

Dr Nigel Carter OBE, chief executive of the Oral Health Foundation, says: “While most cancers are on the decrease, cases of mouth cancer continue to rise at an alarming rate. Traditional causes like smoking and drinking alcohol to excess are quickly being caught by emerging risk factors like the human papillomavirus (HPV). It’s now a cancer that really can affect anybody.”

The effects of mouth cancer can be devastating – it changes how somebody speaks, it makes eating and drinking more difficult, and often changes a person’s physical appearance.

Our dental practice on Broadway Road is supporting the Oral Health Foundation by urging everybody to become ‘mouthaware’ by being able to recognise the early warning signs of mouth cancer and to be aware of the common causes. Most importantly, if you notice anything unusual, please don’t delay in seeking our help.

Mouth cancer can appear as a mouth ulcer which does not heal, red or white patches in the mouth, or unusual lumps or swellings in the mouth, head or neck.

FREE mouth cancer screening to our community – all year round

Regular visits to the dentist will ensure you are professionally screened for signs of mouth cancer. At Evesham Dental Health Team we screen every patient for mouth cancer at every dental health review.

As well as a conventional mouth cancer screening examination, featuring palpation of the face and neck and inspection under direct vision, and assessment of risk factors we also use a VELscope Vx.

Studies have shown that the VELscope can detect cases of cancerous and pre-cancerous lesions that might be invisible to the naked eye. For most patients we detect nothing of concern, and our patients are pleased to receive the good news and peace of mind.

We offer a FREE mouth cancer screening appointment to any members of the public, all year round, so if you have any concerns please get in touch.

One-in-three mouth cancers (33%) are found on the tongue and almost one-in-four (23%) are discovered on the tonsil. The other places to check for mouth cancer include the lips, gums, inside of the cheeks, as well as the floor and roof of the mouth.

Latest figures show that 3,034 people in the UK lost their life to mouth cancer last year. This has risen by almost 20% in the last five years. Survival rates for mouth cancer have barely improved in the last 20 years. One of the key reasons behind this is that far too many mouth cancers are diagnosed too late.

More than half (53%) of all mouth cancers diagnosed at stage IV – where the cancer is at its most advanced.

Remember, our dentists check for mouth cancer at every visit, so don’t put off your routine appointments. If in doubt, get checked out.

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