02 Nov November is Mouth Cancer Action Month 2016
BE MOUTH-AWARE: 45 SECONDS COULD SAVE YOUR LIFE!
Are you able to recognise changes in your mouth?
This is the question we are asking as we support the Mouth Cancer Action Month campaign this November.
With around 7,000 Brits diagnosed with mouth cancer last year, the disease is one of the UK’s fastest increasing cancers. The number of cases rose by a third in the last decade alone. Unfortunately survival rates are not improving! This may be in part because too many are mouth cancers are being diagnosed at a late stage. Early diagnosis transforms our chances of beating mouth cancer from 50% to 90%! So it is crucial that we know what to look for and that we do not hesitate in seeking advice from a health professional.
Awareness of the disease remains alarmingly low, because of this at Bancroft Dentistry we provide every one of our patients with cancer screening as part of their routine six monthly or annual examinations. However we also know that a simple 45 second check that you can do yourself is often all that’s needed to identify anything unusual. If there is anything you are unsure about, we are here to guide you. Often things are nothing to worry about, but we still may send a referral for another opinion just in case.
What should you be on the look-out for?
A mouth ulcer that does not heal within three weeks, red or white patches in the mouth and unusual lumps or swellings in the mouth or head and neck area, can all be potential signs of mouth cancer.
It is important to be aware of any changes occurring inside your mouth, most of us will spend at least a few minutes every day in front of a mirror brushing our teeth so while we’re there it makes sense to have a quick look inside the mouth.
CEO of the Oral Health Foundation, Dr Nigel Carter OBE says:
“Mouth cancer can appear anywhere in the mouth including the lips, tongue, cheek, throat and gums.
“Mouth cancer can have a devastating effect on a person’s life, impacting on their breathing, eating and speech. Reconstructive surgery could also change their appearance while the experience often has an impact on confidence and self-esteem.
“By developing a greater understanding about the early warning signs and symptoms, the lifestyle factors which increase our risk, and recognising where to go if we notice anything unusual inside our mouth, we can detect mouth cancer early. This will not only improve our chances of beating it but will also reduce the amount of invasive surgery needed to treat it.
“During every dental check-up, your dentist will do a visual examination for mouth cancer and look for anything that might be a cause for concern. That’s why it’s so important to keep regular dental check-ups – it’s not just about the health of our teeth and gums – a trip to the dentist could really be a life saver.”
Doing our bit for Mouth Cancer Action Month…
You may notice a few photos appearing on our social media accounts over the course of the month with our staff showing off their ‘blue lip selfies’ and our blue ribbon badges! There are also posters with helpful infographics around the reception area.
Blue ribbon badges are available for a small donation at our reception desk.
You can also create your own blue lip selfie picture here!
For more information on mouth cancer and the Mouth Cancer Action Month Campaign, visit mouthcancer.org