Did You Know…?
November is Mouth Cancer Awareness Month
For more information about mouth cancer and the causes and symptoms and how you can keep your mouth healthy please see below.
What can cause mouth cancer?
Most cases of mouth cancer are linked to tobacco and alcohol. Cigarette, cigar and pipe smoking are the main forms of tobacco use in the UK.
Alcohol increases the risk of mouth cancer, and if tobacco and alcohol are consumed together, the risk is even greater. Over-exposure to sunlight can also increase the risk of cancer of the lips.
What are the signs of mouth cancer?
Mouth cancer can appear in different forms and can affect all parts of the mouth, tongue and lips.
Mouth cancer can appear as a painless mouth ulcer that does not heal normally. A white of red patch in the mouth can also develop into a cancer, as can any unusual lumps or swellings.
It is important to visit your dentist if these areas do not heal within three weeks.
How can mouth cancer be detected early?
Your dentist can often spot mouth cancer in its early stages 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 keep my mouth healthy?
It is important to visit your dentist regularly, as often as they recommend, even if you wear dentures. This is especially important if you smoke and drink alcohol.
When brushing your teeth, look out for any changes in your mouth, and report any red or white patches, or ulcers, that have no cleared up within three weeks.
When exposed to the sun, be sure to use a good protective sun cream, and put the correct type of barrier cream on your lips.
A good diet, rich in vitamins A, C and E, provides protection against the development of mouth cancer. Plenty of fruit and vegetables help the body to protect itself, in general, from most cancers.
Be mouth aware and look for changes in the mouth.