Early detection saves lives
Oral cancer screening is a short procedure that involves a thorough examination of your whole mouth, to examine any lumps or lesions that you might have. This will highlight any risk factors so we can refer you as quickly as possible, if needed.
It is recommended that you come in for a screening, at least on a yearly basis. Self-examination is a simple, potentially life-saving process.
Look out for:
- Ulcers which do not heal within three weeks
- Red and white patches in the mouth
- Unusual lumps or swellings in the mouth.
Most things like this will not turn out to be cancer, but if you have any signs they should be investigated immediately. Late detection of mouth cancers have resulted in a higher proportion of deaths, with about 2,700 deaths per year in the UK.
Preventing oral cancer
Lifestyle choices can significantly influence your risk of oral cancer
Tobacco is the most common cause of mouth cancer. Risk is the same for users of all forms of tobacco, including cigarettes, chewing tobacco, paan, areca nut and guthka. The NHS stop smoking service operates out of pharmacies and includes support groups and treatment options i.e. nicotine replacement such as chewing gum or patches.
Quit smoking http://smokefree.nhs.uk/
More than 7 in 10 people diagnosed with mouth cancer drink more than the recommended daily limit. Drinking increases the mouth’s rate of absorption of tobacco. People who drink and smoke to excess are up to 30 times more likely to develop mouth cancer. It is recommended that men drink no more than 3-4 units per day and women drink no more than 2-3.
A healthy balanced diet containing the recommended five a day fruit and vegetable portions can help lower mouth cancer risk. Eat green and yellow fresh fruit and vegetables every day – bananas, peppers, broccoli, beans and cabbage are good sources of beta-carotene that can help to prevent other cancers too. Fish and eggs have also been linked to reduced risk.
The human papilloma virus (HPV) Transmitted via unprotected oral sex, is a growing threat as a mouth cancer cause. Experts suggest it may rival tobacco and alcohol as a major cancer cause within 10 years
To prevent lip cancer make sure you wear protective screening lotion when the sun is shining.
A growing number of people are however developing the disease without displaying any traditional risk factors – underlining the need for check-ups with your dentist and self-examination. The age group affected is falling as more younger people than ever are diagnosed.
Speak to your dentist if you have any concerns or for personal advice.
For further information on oral cancer or http://www.mouthcancer.org/