With November being Mouth Cancer Action Month we thought we’d take the opportunity to highlight the disease and offer advice on the key symptoms you should be looking out for. While many of us rely on websites to self-diagnose illnesses and diseases these days, it isn’t always the best way to assess our health. The British Dental Health Foundation believes an over-reliance on websites, particularly online symptom checkers, could lead to delays in the diagnosis and treatment of life threatening diseases such as mouth cancer.
Four in ten people questioned by The British Dental Health Foundation said they preferred turning to the Internet to investigate their symptoms, while less than one in three (31 per cent) said they’d see their dentist first. Considering how easy it is to miss the all-important early symptoms of mouth cancer this could mean that many are delaying early intervention.
In the study, which aimed to analyse the UK’s knowledge and attitudes towards mouth cancer, the charity found that while the internet was the most used source for diagnosis, it was also the least trusted. Less than one in four of us indicated that we always trust what we read on the Internet, while the survey found that health professionals such as doctors and dentists came on top of those who we trust. Despite this, a fear of going to the dentist, and sheer dismissal of the disease, is leading to later diagnosis and as a result, mouth cancer claiming more lives.
More than 7,300 Brits are now being diagnosed with mouth cancer each year. With mouth cancer claiming far more lives than cervical and testicular cancer combined, it’s never been so important to get a diagnosis and start treatment before the cancer gets aggressive.
Seeking advice from a medical professional is key in the diagnosis of any disease. Any unusual symptoms or changes to your mouth should be noted and checked out by your dentist as soon as possible – no matter how minor you think the symptoms might be. Leaving an ulcer or swelling for a few weeks could be a potentially fatal mistake to make.
Other early symptoms to look out for include:
These symptoms are common with many dental issues – from poor hygiene to fungal infections. If you’re suffering from any of the above don’t panic, but do arrange an appointment to see your dentist to get things checked over.
To make an appointment for your next dental check-up give us a call on 01254 297 000. We’re more than happy to answer any of your questions and take a look at any dental issues you’re having, no matter how minor you think they might be.
Posted on: 23rd Nov, 2015