IF IN DOUBT, GET CHECKED OUT – IT MIGHT JUST SAVE YOUR LIFE
In the UK, mouth cancer is diagnosed in more than 6,750 people annually and without early detection, half will die. Mouth cancer 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.
At Beechwood Dental in Bournemouth, we are trying very hard to change that. We routinely screen existing patients for mouth cancer and every new patient receives a thorough mouth cancer examination as standard.
During Mouth Cancer Action Month in November Beechwood is offering free mouth cancer screening to anyone who has concerns about their oral health – please visit our website for details. (Booking is essential.)
Mouth Cancer Action Month aims to highlight this disease and stress that professional assessment and regular self-examinations are the best route to early detection. Early diagnosis saves lives, improving survival chances from half of cases to more than 90%.
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.
Please make sure you visit a dentist regularly and check your mouth as often as possible, it could just save your life.
Or ring 01202 397074 to book your appointment for your FREE screening.
Return to the Blog page