Mouth cancer, also known as oral cancer is a cancer that occurs in any part of the mouth; on the tongue’s surface, the lips, inside the cheek, in the gums, in the roof and floor of the mouth, in the tonsils, and also the salivary glands. If not detected early, it can be life threatening. Worldwide, more than 300,000 new cases of lip and oral cavity cancer were estimated to have been diagnosed in 2012, with incidence rates varying across the world. In Europe, around 23,600 people were estimated to have died from lip and oral cavity cancer in 2012. The UK mortality rate is 11th lowest in Europe for males and 20th highest for females. (Data retrieved from Cancer Research UK).
Oral cancer incidence rates in the UK have risen by a third in the last decade. According to the Cancer Research UK, in 2011 in the UK, there were 6,767 new cases of oral cancer 4,510 (67%) in men and 2,257 (33%) in women. This shows that there are 15 new oral cancer cases for every 100,000 males in the UK, and 7 for every 100,000 females.
Over 1,900 people in the UK die from mouth cancer every year. Many of these deaths could be prevented if the cancer was caught early enough. Regular dental check-ups are of paramount importance in detecting suspicious lesions in the oral cavity early. Checking for signs of oral cancer is part of a regular dental check-up. The dentist examines your oral tissues by looking at your lips and inside your mouth, checking carefully the gums, the inside of your cheeks and your tongue (the sides and underneath) the roof and the floor of your mouth.
Many of the risk factors for oral cancer stem from behaviours that can be avoided. Oral cancer most often develops in people who smoke (cigarettes, pipes or cigars) and drink heavily. Smokeless tobacco products also increase one’s risk of developing oral lesions. Repeated and prolonged exposure to the sun can cause lip cancer. Infection with some forms of the human papilloma virus (HPV), places people at risk as well. A diet low in fruits and vegetables also seems to increase the chance of developing the disease.
Making small changes in your lifestyle can have a big impact on your quality of life and life expectancy minimizing the risk of oral cancer. Kicking the habit of smoking can eliminate the risk of smoking on your oral and general health. At The ‘Dee Shapland Dental Surgery’ we encourage you to consider giving up smoking and we are happy to assist you through our cessation programme. We are also happy to give you professional advice on your diet and discuss with you tips which will improve your dental, oral and general well-being.
On December 16th we will be holding a free mouth cancer screening session for any non-registered patients of this practice (places limited).
Our registered patients have a routine mouth cancer screen at EVERY examination appointment.
Data and information retrieved by: Cancer Research UK, Mouth Cancer Foundation, British Dental Association (BDA) & American Dental Association (ADA).
This article was written by Anastasios Plessas (Associate Dentist) – November 2014
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Dee Shapland Dental will be reopening on Monday 15 June.
Thank you for your patience whilst we finalise the huge amount of compliance and training in order to provide you with safe and effective care.
We will be contacting our patients who have had a dental emergency or problems initially and we ask that if you have a dental emergency in the meantime please call: 07778059518 to speak to Nick or Anastasios who will endeavour to help you.
Please click on the link below to read our latest blogs describing our return to practice and your ‘new dental journey’. If you visit our Facebook page, Anastasios has made a short video to help you plan for your next visit.
We look forward to seeing you soon.
Nick, Anastasios & All the Dee Shapland Dental team