You may have heard of mouth cancer and its link to smoking but did you know that late detection of mouth cancers result in a higher proportion of deaths per number of cases than breast cancer, cervical cancer or skin melanoma?
Mouth cancer causes more than 2,000 deaths a year in the UK. It affects young, old, smokers and non smokers and the disease has increased by approaching 50 per cent in the last ten years – yet many have still not heard about it or know what the symptoms are. In the UK, mouth cancer is diagnosed in more than 6,750 people annually and without early detection, half will die.
The good news is early diagnosis saves lives, improving survival chances from half of cases to more than 90%.
An annual mouth cancer screening at Crescent Lodge Dental Practice London only takes a few minutes but means we can keep an eye on your oral health and identify any lesions when they are small and easy to treat or remove. During a screening our clinical team will give you a thorough examination of your whole mouth, highlighting any risk factors so we can treat or refer you as quickly as possible.
If you have any sores, lumps or long-term ulcers in your mouth, no matter how small, it is very important that you come in to have them looked at.
Early warning signs
- ulcers that do not heal within three weeks
- red and white patches in the mouth
- unusual changes in the mouth
- Smoking – One in five people in the UK smoke and the habit is still considered the leading cause of mouth cancer.
- Alcohol – Drinking to excess can increase mouth cancer risks by four times. As alcohol aids the absorption of tobacco into the mouth, those who smoke and drink to excess are up to 30 times more likely to develop the disease.
- HPV virus – The Human papillomavirus, transmitted via oral sex, is increasingly being linked to mouth cancer. Younger people are particularly at risk.
- Poor diet – Around half of cases are thought to be linked to an unhealthy diet.
- Chewing or smokeless tobacco – Although some people believe this type of tobacco is safer than smoking, the reality is that it is much more dangerous.
Three-quarters of cases are linked to tobacco and alcohol so it is important that smokers are encouraged to quit and alcohol is drunk in moderation. Prevention is key and lifestyle choices can help minimise risks. For more information, please visit www.mouthcancer.org or www.mouthcancerfoundation.org.
Call us today to book your mouth cancer screening and enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing you have been checked.