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Mouth Cancer Action Month

Published: 09 November 2017

Throughout the whole of November, it is officially Mouth Cancer Action Month, which is a disease we take very seriously across the Clyde Munro Dental Group. We often find that many patients are completely unaware not just about the signs and symptoms of oral cancer, but of the prevalence of the disease itself.

On the whole, we’re all pretty conscious about various forms of cancers that could affect us, either thanks to campaigns we’ve seen across the media providing helpful advice on warning signs, or through friends or family members who have been affected by cancer in a particular guise. From breast to testicular, bowel to blood, and everything in between, we’re all less shy about checking ourselves, and much more open about discussing any concerns we may have.

At Clyde Munro, we think this is all absolutely fantastic, but we feel that more definitely needs to be done to raise awareness of mouth cancer, which is why we fully support this campaign all year round!

Facts and figures

  • In 2014, there were 7,603 people diagnosed with mouth cancer in the UK
  • Mouth cancer cases have increased by a third in the last decade
  • 86% of cases are diagnosed in those over 50
  • Mouth cancer rates per population are significantly higher in Scotland compared with England, Northern Ireland and Wales
  • More than 90% of mouth cancers in men and 85% in women are linked to lifestyle and environmental factors.

What do we do in our practices?

We know that with any form of cancer, early detection is key. However, currently, the majority of mouth cancers are discovered at stage 4, which offers a very bleak outlook. With an early diagnosis though, the chances of surviving mouth cancer are nine out of ten so what do we do in our practices to help?

During every dental examination, we carry out full mouth cancer screening as standard, which involves checking the head and neck, the lips, the cheeks, the roof of the mouth, the tongue, and the floor of the mouth which is why we stress the importance of regular dental check ups!

We can also give you helpful advice about the risk factors associated with mouth cancer, and the signs and symptoms to look out for in-between appointments. None of this is meant to be scary or worrying, it’s all about giving you knowledge and awareness in order to understand your own health more effectively.

Signs and symptoms

Here is a list of things to keep an eye out for in-between appointments.

  • Ulcers that do not heal within three weeks
  • Red or white patches in the mouth
  • Unusual lumps or swellings in the mouth or head and neck area
  • Anything else that you feel looks different to normal.

If you are ever in any doubt, please contact your nearest Clyde Munro dental practice using our practice finder tool here and explain your concerns so that we can book you an appointment as soon as possible.