Oral health cancer checks

How do we do it?

Oral health cancer checks

Mouth Cancer and how does it affect

Mouth Cancer and how does it affect

Mouth cancer is a term for a variety of tumours (cancers) that develop in the:-

  • Mouth
  • Throat
  • Voice Box
  • Salivary Glands
  • Nose and Sinuses

The symptoms may include:-

  • White or Red patch on the soft tissues of the mouth
  • Lumps that occur anywhere in the mouth or neck
  • Sores or ulcers that don’t heal within 3 weeks
  • Difficulty chewing or moving the tongue
  • Difficulty or pain when swallowing
  • Numbness of the tongue or mouth
  • Chronic sore throat or voice change
  • Unexplained mobility of a tooth

This is not an exhaustive list, but is intended to show that if there are changes in your mouth that don’t go, It is always worthwhile seeing your dentist. There may well be a simple explanation, but it is better to be safe than sorry. If found early at the initial site, more than 90% of people will survive for more than two years with many completely healed. It is a disease much better treated early than late.

How do you reduce your risks?

  • Visit the dentist regularly even if you wear dentures
  • Look out for any changes in the mouth and get red or white patches or ulcers checked, if not healed within 3 weeks.
  • Use sun screen on lips and the face
  • Do not smoke or chew tobacco
  • Drink less alcohol
  • Have a healthier ‘low meat, low fat diet, rich in fruit and vegetables
  • Refrain from oral sex (use protection at all times)

There has been a sharp rise in cancer in two areas of the mouth especially, Base of tongue (90%) and the Tonsils (70%). Most of this is thought to be down to the Human Papilloma virus, with it thought to be responsible for up to 60% of mouth cancers. There are approximately 7000 new cases a year in the UK, with 2000 deaths a year. It is not the most common cancer, but it is one that is frequently found late when it is more difficult to treat.

Smoking is a very common cause of cancer, and can easily affect the mouth. There are two links below to sites on youtube that show why you shouldn’t smoke. They are interviews with an American lady called Terrie who has since died and are quite hard hitting. It may give you an extra reason to give up.

Finally, this is a link to the website of the British Dental Health Foundation, of which I am a member. It has a link to their tell me about range of information leaflets which you can read on line. It covers a multitude of topics, covering not just mouth cancers but lots of everyday dental information on root fillings, tooth whitening, veneers etc. If there is anything you are unsure of, or need explained in better detail, or were just afraid to ask, this is the site to go to for completely unbiased and very helpful information,


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