November is Mouth Cancer Action Month
Dentists are not only great at looking at our teeth and gums, we know from previous Defacto Dentist blog posts that dentists can also spot the signs of some other health problems, including cancer.
What is Mouth Cancer?
Mouth cancer seems like quite a generalised term, and that is because it can affect the lips, tongue, cheeks, throat or gums. If not spotted and treated promptly, it can spread to other areas of the mouth and body entirely. Mouth cancer is highly dependent on early detection as many cases are not discovered until the cancer is stage 4, where it is ultimately too late to make a significant impact with treatment.
Who does it affect?
The number of cases of mouth cancer have trebled in the past decade. Around 18 people every day are diagnosed with mouth cancer. Over 7000 people in the UK were diagnosed with oral cancer last year alone. Those who smoke tobacco products are three times more likely to be at risk of suffering from the disease.
As always, the sooner you spot the signs, the better. Catching mouth cancer early gives you a 9 in 10 chance of survival – pretty good odds we reckon!
That’s why the Oral Health Foundation want you to BE MOUTHAWARE!
There are THREE main symptoms of mouth cancer that you should not ignore are:
- Unusual lumps or swellings in the mouth or head and neck area.
- Ulcers which do not heal alone or with the assistance of over the counter remedies in 3 weeks
- Red and white blotches in the mouth
If you have been experiencing these symptoms or have a reason to think you may be at risk, it is vital that you contact your dentist or doctor as soon as possible.
What can you do?
Mouth Cancer Action Month begins today, on the first of November 2017. Clicking HERE will take you to the Oral Health Foundation’s donation page where you can make donations to help fund the work of the Oral Health Foundation. Your money can really make a difference.
The Mouth Cancer Action Month website is full of brilliant fundraising resources, fact sheets and useful contact numbers. So why not get involved in becoming MOUTHAWARE? Maybe you could host a fundraising event at work, school, university or in your local community groups? Every little makes such a big difference!
Throughout the month of November on Defacto Dentists social media, we’ll be sharing updates from the Oral Health Foundation about Mouth Cancer Action Month. Stay tuned to our Facebook page for more.