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Mouth Cancer Action Month – Why Screening is Important

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November is almost over and that means the annual Mouth Cancer Action Month campaign is well underway. Mouth Cancer Action Month is a national movement headed by the British Dental Health Foundation in association with the Mouth Cancer Foundation and Dentaid. The aim of the campaign is to raise awareness of mouth cancer and encourage people to get screened and checked out.

A brief guide to mouth cancer

Mouth cancer affects the soft tissue inside the mouth and throat and is often linked to smoking, drinking alcohol and exposure to HPV infection. The latest statistics available from Cancer Research UK show that more than 7,000 cases of mouth cancer were diagnosed in the UK in 2012. This is an estimated increase of more than a third in the last decade.

The main symptoms to look out for include:

  • Mouth ulcers/sores that take longer than two weeks to health
  • Red or white patches in the mouth and/or throat
  • Abnormal lumps or swelling
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Unexplained pain in the mouth
  • Persistent sore throat

Why is screening so important?

One of the main goals for Mouth Cancer Action Month is to promote oral cancer screening. Screening is important because it can detect potential symptoms before they become noticeable. Screening tests involve a thorough examination of the mouth and throat and in some cases a special light source might be used to highlight abnormal tissue.

Screening examinations only take a few minutes. When it comes to any kind of cancer, time is precious and the earlier mouth cancer is diagnosed, the higher the chances of recovery. In cases of early diagnosis and treatment, survival rates may be up to 90% higher than cases where cancer is diagnosed at an advanced stage.

If you’d like to find out more about oral cancer screening, don’t hesitate to get in touch.  Mouth Cancer screening is an integral part of your regular dental health examination at Harley Street Dental Studio.

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