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Mouth Cancer Awareness Month

17 Nov 2016

November 1-30 is Mouth Cancer Awareness Month, and Fleet Street Clinic has collaborated with the charity campaign MouthCancer.org to help raise awareness of the disease.

For more information about Mouth Cancer, you can read the Q & A’s below.

What is Mouth cancer?

Mouth cancer relates to cancer found in the lips, tongue, cheek and throat.

Who is at risk? 
Incidences of mouth cancer are on the increase in the UK – in the last year 6,767 patients have been diagnosed with the disease – rising by more than a third. Prognosis is good if the disease is caught early.

What can cause mouth cancer?

Many cases of mouth cancer are linked to tobacco and alcohol. 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 or red patch in the mouth can also develop into cancer, as can any unusual lumps or swellings.
  • Be mouth aware and look for changes in the mouth.
  • It is important to visit your dentist if these areas do not heal within three weeks.

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.

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 not 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.
  • Cut down on your smoking and drinking.
If you are in any doubt as to the health of your mouth, please give Fleet Street Clinic a call to make an appointment on 020 7353 5678.

With thanks to mouthcancerawareness.org