Mouth Cancer – were you aware?13 November 2020
Mouth cancer is the 14th most common cancer in the UK and last year 8,772 people in the United Kingdom were diagnosed with mouth cancer. These are alarming statistics and yet people aren’t aware of mouth cancer as they should be. At Diamond Dental Care we are working hard to change that. Some more statistics:
- One person in the UK is diagnosed with mouth cancer every hour
- In men, mouth cancer is the 19th most common cancer in the UK, with around 5,877 new cases a year
- In women, mouth cancer is the 15th most common cancer in the UK, with around 2,894 new cases a year
- Most mouth cancers occur in the tongue. These make up around one in three cases for men and women
- Mouth cancer is strongly associated with age. More than three in four (78%) mouth cancers are diagnosed in those over the age of 55
What are the risk factors?
We don’t yet know exactly what causes most mouth cancers. However, there are several factors that are likely to increase your risk. That means with some small changes, you can reduce your risk.
All of below are linked to mouth cancer:
Smoking tobacco increases your risk of developing mouth cancer by up to ten times, compared with never-smokers.
Drinking alcohol to excess increases your risk of mouth cancer. Smoking and drinking combined will treble a person’s mouth cancer risk.
Around a third of mouth cancers are thought to be linked to an unhealthy diet and a lack of vitamins and minerals. We strongly recommend that you eat a healthy diet including plenty of fruit and vegetables each day.
Sunlight and sunbeds
Too much ultraviolet (UV) radiation is a known cause of skin cancer. This can occur either from natural sunlight or sunbeds.
Many recent reports have linked mouth cancer to the human papillomavirus (HPV).
HPV is the major cause of cervical cancer and affects the skin that lines the moist areas of the body. HPV can be spread through oral sex, and research suggests that it could soon rival smoking and drinking as one of the main causes of mouth cancer.
Family history and genetics
There is an increased risk of mouth cancer if you have a close relative diagnosed with the disease.
Mouth cancer can also be more likely for those who carry certain inherited genes. Links have been found for those with genetic conditions affecting the bone marrow, skin or fingernails.
What do you do at Diamond Dental Care re mouth cancer?
At Diamond Dental Care we take a preventative approach to dentistry and oral health and nowhere is this more apparent then in the way we screen for mouth cancer. This will be performed at every routine dental appointment (‘check-up’) that you have. During a mouth cancer screening examination, we will examine the inside of your mouth to check for red or white patches or mouth sores. We will also check the tissues in your mouth, throat and neck to check for lumps or other abnormalities.
On a positive note, if we catch it early, mouth cancer is one of the most treatable forms of cancer and many people will make a full recovery. To find out more or make an appointment, please call us on 0141 952 1692 or fill in a contact form HERE.