At Stella Maris Dental, we are passionate about making sure our patients have the confidence to smile, day in day out. We offer a comprehensive range of dental and cosmetic treatments. We also pride ourselves on helping our patients to take a proactive approach to their oral health. This includes helping to spread the word about Mouth Cancer Action Month.
Held every November, Mouth Cancer Action Month is organised by British charity the Oral Health Foundation. The aim of the charity campaign is to raise awareness of mouth cancer. This should help to save lives by promoting the values of prevention and early detection. This year, the campaign is about making everyone more mouthaware. That’s why throughout November, we are supporting the campaign by highlighting the risk factors and signs and symptoms associated with the disease.
By making sure people understand what causes mouth cancer and learn how to recognise the early warning signs, we can encourage healthier lifestyles and reduce the number of people diagnosed with the disease.
More than 8,300 people in the UK alone were diagnosed with mouth cancer last year and around the world there are over 300,000 new cases every year. The number of people being diagnosed with mouth cancer has grown by around a third in the last decade. Unlike many other cancers, cases are predicted to continue this rise in the coming years.
Mouth cancer is now the eleventh most common cancer worldwide. Like all cancers, lifestyle factors such as smoking and alcohol are responsible for many cases – but the disease can affect anyone at any time. Although people over 40, particularly men, are at a slightly higher risk, research has shown that mouth cancer is becoming more common in younger patients and in women.
It is also now known that there is a link between mouth cancer and the human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV can be spread through oral sex. Research now suggests that HPV could soon rival smoking and drinking as one of the main causes of mouth cancer.
Every year, 2,300 people in the UK die from mouth cancer every year. Many of these deaths could be prevented if the cancer was diagnosed early enough. Based on the current statistics, people with mouth cancer are more likely to die than those with cervical cancer or melanoma skin cancer.
Mouth Cancer Action Month aims to change that by helping raise awareness across the UK.
A key message of Mouth Cancer Action Month is to look out for:
It is important to be aware that mouth cancer can occur in many different places. You should regularly check your own mouth, lips, cheeks, head and neck for anything out of the ordinary. Mouth cancer can also still affect you even if you do not have your natural teeth. If you do notice anything you are not happy with, don’t hesitate to book an appointment with your dentist. Quick action is very often life-saving.
Your dentist is trained to recognise the early warning signs of mouth cancer and will often able to spot symptoms before they become visible to the untrained eye. They can also see parts of the mouth that may be difficult for you to check yourself. A routine dental examination gives your dentist the opportunity to check for signs of mouth cancer before they can develop into something more serious – making sure you have best possible chance for successful treatment.
If you have any questions or concerns about mouth cancer, or would like to book a dental examination, don’t hesitate to call Stella Maris Dental today on 0121 588 4541.