Mouth cancer (awareness month November) can affect any part of the mouth including tongue and lips, it has grown by a third in the last decade and is anticipated to increase. Cancer of the mouth is twice as common in men as it is in women and is rare in people aged under 40; it is the 16th most common cancer in the UK (2011), accounting for 2% of all new cases. In males, it is the 12th most common cancer (3% of the male total), whilst it is 16th in females (1%). Cancer of the mouth is particularly dangerous because in its early stages it may not be noticed by the patient - symptoms include:
- red or white patches in the mouth or throat
- a lump or ulcers in the mouth for more than 3 months
- pain or aching in the mouth
- difficulty swallowing
- changes in voice
- swollen lymph nodes
- weight loss
- bleeding or numbness in the mouth
- a tooth or teeth that become loose for no apparent reason
Dental Practices throughout the country invest a great deal of time, care and effort during ‘Mouth Cancer Action Month’ because the outlook is good if the cancer is diagnosed early. Regular dental check-ups are essential particularly if a person smokes or is a heavy drinker.
Around 60,000 people will be diagnosed with mouth cancer over the next decade and poor diet is linked to around a third of all cancer cases. Taking sufficient care to eat a healthy and balanced diet is crucial as proper nutrition helps fight disease. Usually cancer of the mouth is only discovered when the cancer has metastasized to another location, most likely the lymph nodes of the neck. Prognosis at this stage of discovery is significantly worse than when it is caught in a localised intra-oral area. How often do you visit your Dentist?
Sugarman’s Occupational Health services focus on an individual’s health, ability and fitness to perform a job. Poor oral health can lead to pain and tooth loss, and can negatively affect self-esteem as well as the ability to eat, laugh and smile. Our Occupational Health Service plays a key role in ensuring the health and wellbeing of employees and a Dentist will identify any signs of oral cancer, diabetes or vitamin deficiencies.