The Facts About Mouth Cancer
Whilst treatment progression and medical advancements are helping boost survival rates of this deadly disease, the scary fact remains that 2700+ lives are lost to mouth cancer each year. 78% of these cases occur in the over 55 age group and is twice as common in men than in women.
With over 8700 new cases in the UK each year, understanding the risk factors that promote the growth of this cancer and the early-stage symptoms to look out for could help you to make better decisions for your oral health and seek professional help if you are worried about any changes in your mouth.
Risk Factors and Symptoms of Mouth Cancer
Multiple risk factors can increase the likelihood of mouth cancer developing, which include:
- Excessive consumption of alcohol
- Tobacco use, which is the leading cause of mouth cancer
- Contraction of the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)
- Exposure to the sun causing skin cancers that may affect the lips and face
Symptoms of mouth cancer can include:
- An ulcer that does not heal within three weeks
- A red or white patch anywhere in the mouth that does not disappear within three weeks
- A lump or swelling in the mouth, jaw or neck that persists for more than three weeks
- Numbness in the mouth and particularly in the tongue
- A chronic sore throat or hoarseness that persists for more than six weeks
- Difficulty swallowing, chewing or moving the tongue or jaw
- An unexplained loosening of teeth
It’s essential to make an appointment with your Harlow dentist if you are experiencing any of the above symptoms. At our dental practice in Essex, we provide regular oral cancer screening for all of our patients and encourage anyone concerned about their oral health to come in a see us, if not to simply put your worries at ease.