THE county’s Community Dental Team are raising awareness of signs, symptoms and the associated lifestyle risk factors which contribute to mouth cancer, as part of national Mouth Cancer Awareness Month.
The Oral Health Foundation found that 8,300 people in the UK were diagnosed with mouth cancer last year and the disease is one of the UK’s fastest increasing cancers, with cases rising by a third in the last decade alone.
The Community Dental Service, which is run by Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust, is urging local residents to be more ‘mouth aware’ and learn to recognise the early warning signs of mouth cancer.
Dentists say that a simple check is often all that’s needed to identify anything out of the ordinary.
Clinical director Anwen Greaves said: “It’s important to know what to look out for. Early detection increases chances of survival. We encourage people to be aware of lifestyle risk factors, symptoms, and regularly check their mouths.
“If you do see anything out of the ordinary, we strongly encourage you to visit a dentist or a healthcare professional.”
Risk factors include; poor diet, smoking, excessive alcohol consumption and the human papillomavirus (HPV).
People are encouraged to check their mouths regularly for a mouth ulcer that does not heal within three weeks, red or white patches in the mouth and unusual lumps or swellings in the mouth or head and neck area.
Any presence of this could indicate mouth cancer, so it’s vital the people are aware of any changes occurring inside of the mouth and visit their dentist regularly.
To find out more visit www.mouthcancer.org