As part of Mouth Cancer Action Month in November, organiser the Oral Health Foundation and the Ipswich dentists at Harbour Dental Care, are challenging people to check for any unusual changes inside their mouths.
They have issued the challenge due to the shocking rise in mouth cancer cases in recent years and the continued importance of diagnosing mouth cancer early for a person’s chances of beating the disease.
The Oral Health Foundation is concerned that many mouth cancer cases are not being spotted early enough to be treated effectively.
As a result, it is calling for us all to be alert to any of the early signs or symptoms of mouth cancer at home and to take action if we notice any unusual changes occurring in our mouths.
Mouth cancer can strike in the lips, tongue, gums and cheek. It is very important that we all know what to look out for.
Three signs and symptoms not to ignore are:
- Ulcers that do not heal in three weeks.
- Red and white patches in the mouth.
- Unusual lumps or swellings in the mouth or head and neck area.
Dr Nigel Carter, CEO of the Oral Health Foundation, spoke about the need for greater self-awareness when it comes to maintaining the health of our mouth: “Cancer Research UK has reported a staggering 68% increase in mouth cancer rates in the last 20 years, while those of us beating the disease has not improved in that time either.
“Many of those who lose their life to the disease do so because of late diagnosis, which is utterly heart-breaking.
“Visiting your dentist is a good thing for your teeth and gum health but it is important to monitor the state of your mouth at home as it can be very easy to overlook problems related to mouth cancer between visits and for the disease to develop rapidly.
“Early diagnosis transforms our chances of beating the disease from 50 per cent to 90 per cent so it is crucial that we all know what to look out for.
“It only takes a few seconds every day to have a good look in your mouth to see if there is anything out of the ordinary. If you have any of the warning signs of mouth cancer it is vitally important that you visit your dental practice or GP straight away, it could save your life.”
If you have any concerns about mouth cancer, please contact us immediately.