Mouth Cancer Screening
All of our patients who attend regularly will have a visual examination of soft tissues in the mouth as a matter of routine. We do this to detect any early changes which may need further examination or referral to a specialist.
If we detect any abnormalities, our referral is usually to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, or should you wish a private consultation can be arranged.
We have taken the following from the British Dental Health Foundation website to give you some further information. Their motto is ‘If in Doubt – get checked out’ we support this philosophy so if you have any concerns make an appointment for an assessment.
About Mouth Cancer
- Mouth cancer is a disease which can affect the lips, tongue, cheeks and throat.
- There are more than 6,500 new cases of mouth cancer diagnosed in the UK each year.
- Anyone can be affected by mouth cancer, but it is more common in people over 40, particularly men.
- Mouth cancer is becoming more common in younger patients and in women.
- The number of new cases of mouth cancer is on the increase.
What Causes Mouth Cancer?
- Smoking causes around 75% of all mouth cancer cases.
- Drinking alcohol to excess can increase mouth cancer risks by four times.
- Those who smoke and drink to excess are up to 30times more likely to develop the disease.
- An unhealthy diet has also been linked to mouth cancer.
- Over-exposure to sunlight can also increase the risk of cancer of the lips.
The HumanPapillomavirus, transmitted via oral sex, is increasingly being linked to mouth cancer in younger people
What are the signs of Mouth Cancer?
- Mouth cancer can strike in a number of places, including the lips, tongue, gums and cheek.
- Given early detection is so crucial with mouth cancer, it is important that everyone knows the signs and symptoms. These include:
- Ulcers which do not heal three weeks
- Red and white patches in the mouth
- Unusual lumps or swellings in the mouth
How can Mouth Cancer be detected early?
- Mouth cancer can often be spotted in its early stages by your dentist during a thorough mouth examination.
- If mouth cancer is recognised early, then the chances of a cure are good.
- Many people with mouth cancer go to their dentist or doctor too late.
How can I make sure my mouth stays healthy?
- Visit your dentist regularly, as often as they recommend.
- Look out for any changes in your mouth, and report any red or white patches, unusual lumps and swellings, or ulcers that have not cleared up within three weeks.
- When exposed to the sun, be sure to use protective sun cream.
- A good diet, rich in vitamins A, C and E, provides protection against the development of mouth cancer.
- Cut down on your smoking and drinking.