Mouth Cancer Awareness
What is mouth cancer action month?
At Beeston Dental Practice we always like to keep on top of the latest healthcare and dental awareness campaigns – which is why we’ll be supporting Mouth Cancer Action Month this November. The campaign aims to raise awareness of mouth cancer and, as a result, save thousands of lives through prevention and detection.
Throughout November we will be aiming to get more mouth cancers diagnosed at an early stage by increasing education of the risk factors and signs and symptoms while encouraging everybody to discuss them with their dental professional.
Although there are risk factors heavily linked to the disease, mouth cancer can affect anybody – that’s why it’s so important that we all know what to look out for. The campaign is all about taking action. Don’t leave that ulcer unattended for more than three weeks. Don’t ignore that unusual lump or swelling or red and white patches in your mouth. Early detection could save your life.
· Smoking tobacco and second-hand smoke
· Cigars and pipe smokers put themselves at greater risk
· Smokeless tobacco such as paan, snuff, ghutka, ect.
· Excessive alcohol intake
· Poor diet and lifestyle
· Exposure to excessive solar radiation
· The human papillomavirus (HPV)
· Family history of the disease
· Mouth cancer is 2.5 times higher in those with periodontal (gum) disease
· …and is 60 times higher in people with six or more missing teeth
· Mouth cancer is 12 to 16 times higher in those who have previous been diagnosed with cancer
If you tick one of more of the risk factors above you should keep an eye out for the following signs and symptoms, which are all associated with mouth cancer:
· Ulcers that do not heal in three weeks
· Red and white patches in the mouth
· Unusual lumps or swelling in the mouth, head, or neck area
· Loss or altered sensation in the mouth
· Difficulty in swallowing
· Speech problems
· Loose teeth for no apparent reason
· Difficulty moving the jaw
You need to check all areas of your mouth for these symptoms, including your lips, your tongue, your inner cheeks and the roof of your mouth.
At Beeston Dental Practice we will also look out for the symptoms above at every one of your dental appointments. However, if you have any concerns prior to your next dental appointment it’s important to book in to get your symptoms checked out. If caught early enough the chances of surviving mouth cancer are good.
Like most cancers, mouth cancers can affect anyone – so the most important thing you can do is remain aware of the symptoms. Other important behaviours include:
· Avoiding the risk factors described above
· Keeping up with your six-monthly dental check-ups
· Looking out for the symptoms of mouth cancer and approaching your dentist immediately if you have any worries
Get involved with raising awareness
#bluelipselfie (Image: http://www.mouthcancer.org/)
If you’d like to join us in raising awareness of the disease, why not get involved with the following initiatives?
Blue Wednesday – Designed especially for Mouth Cancer Action Month, Blue Wednesday, which takes place on the 18th November, requires you to pick out something blue and wear it to show your support. Blue ribbons and fun plastic blue lip pieces will also be available to purchase to support the event.
Or Sporting fundraising.
Are you doing anything to raise awareness of mouth cancer? If so, share your fundraising or awareness activities in the comments below and Facebook us your selfies.