UK mouth cancer is increasing at a startling rate


The British Dental Health Foundation recently revealed that there were over 7,500 new cases of mouth cancer diagnosed in the UK in 2011 which represents an increase of 50% since 2000. Figures show that the increases of mouth cancer in men were almost double that of the instances found in women. This form of cancer was responsible for almost 2,500 deaths in 2011 and there is no evidence of a reduction in the rate of deaths since then.

This November, which is nominated Mouth Cancer Action Month, aims to educate the public about the disease. It is understood that lifestyle choices profoundly impact the risk of developing mouth cancer and high risk activities include tobacco use, drinking alcohol to excess, poor diet and the human papillomavirus (HPV), which is forecast to overtake smoking as the leading cause of the disease in the next ten years.

Early diagnosis is imperative as, if it is caught early enough; the chances of surviving mouth cancer can be as high as 90 per cent. However, if the cancer is not detected until much later the chances of survival are reduced to 50:50. Dr Nigel Carter OBE, Chief Executive of the British Dental Health Foundation has commented:

"Given how important early detection is, the campaign is a great opportunity for the public to learn about the risks and what to look out for. Ulcers that do not heal within three weeks, red and white patches and unusual lumps or swellings in the mouth should not be ignored. Our advice is clear - if in doubt, get checked out."

At Oak Lodge Dental our regular check-up and hygienist appointments both include a mouth cancer screening check to ensure that no symptoms are present. This is an effective way to ensure that your mouth is checked regularly and any symptoms are recognised and caught early.