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A look ahead to Mouth Cancer Action Month 2015

ap blog a look ahead to Mouth Cancer Action Month 2015

At AP Smilecare we always like to keep on top of the latest healthcare and dental awareness campaigns – which is why we’ll be supporting Mouth Cancer Action Month this November. The campaign aims to raise awareness of mouth cancer and, as a result, save thousands of lives through prevention and detection.

With more than 6,700 people diagnosed with mouth cancer last year in the UK, the disease is a real risk affecting many. In fact, it’s grown by a third in the last decade and remains one of the few cancers that’s predicted to grow over coming years.

Risk factors and symptoms of the disease

apsmilecare blog mouth cancer action month risk factors

While mouth cancer can affect anyone, there are a few things that increase your risk of contracting the disease, these include:

  • Smoking and second hand tobacco smoke
  • Excessive alcohol intake
  • Exposure to excessive solar radiation
  • Family history of the disease
  • HPV
  • Poor diet and lifestyle. In fact, more than 90% of mouth cancers in men and 85% in women are linked to lifestyle and environmental factors.

If you tick one of more of the risk factors above you should keep an eye out for the following symptoms, which are all associated with mouth cancer:

  • Ulcers that do not heal in three weeks
  • Red and white patches in the mouth
  • Unusual lumps or swelling in the mouth, head, or neck area

You need to check all areas of your mouth for these symptoms, including your lips, your tongue, the roof of your mouth and your inner cheeks. Cancer of the tongue and oral cavity are the most common forms of mouth cancer, followed by the throat.  Lip, neck and other mouth cancers make up the rest of the cases of the disease.

At AP Smilecare we will also look out for the symptoms above at every one of your dental appointments. However, if you have any concerns prior to your next dental appointment it’s important to book in to get your symptoms checked out. If caught early enough the chances of surviving mouth cancer are good.

Preventing mouth cancer

apsmilecare blog mouth cancer action month checkups

Like most cancers, mouth cancers can affect anyone – so the most important thing you can do is remain aware of the symptoms. Other important behaviours include:

  • Avoiding the risk factors described above
  • Keeping up with your six-monthly dental check-ups
  • Looking out for the symptoms of mouth cancer and approaching your dentist immediately if you have any worries

Get involved with raising awareness

If you’d like to join us in raising awareness of the disease, why not get involved with the following initiatives?

Blue Wednesday – Designed especially for Mouth Cancer Action Month, Blue Wednesday, which takes place on the 18th November, requires you to pick out something blue and wear it to show your support. Blue ribbons and fun plastic blue lip pieces will also be available to purchase to support the event.

Sporting fundraising – From cycling the Great Manchester Cycle to undertaking an epic trek or obstacle course, there are plenty of ways you can raise money.

To find out more about our dental care service, or to book an appointment with one of our dentists, give us a call on 01254 297000.

Are you doing anything to raise awareness of mouth cancer? If so, share your fundraising or awareness activities in the comments below or tweet us @APSmilecare

Posted on: 28th Sep, 2015