Sonning Common dental team hosts mouth cancer awareness event

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The team from a dental practice in Sonning Common near Henley hosted a mouth cancer awareness event recently after missing out on celebrating Mouth Cancer Awareness month in November. Staff at Wood Lane Dentistry were too busy to organise an event in November so they decided to raise awareness of oral cancer in February instead.

To educate patients and get people talking about mouth cancer, the team wore blue wigs and donned blue lip stickers. A board containing information about mouth cancer was also set up in the reception area, and dentists took the opportunity to talk to patients about the causes and symptoms of oral cancer. In the last decade, the number of cases of mouth cancer in the UK has almost doubled, yet awareness is still very poor.

Vikram Chugani, principal dentist, said that wearing blue wigs and lip stickers was a means of alerting people to the prevalence of mouth cancer and encouraging them to take an interest in the leaflets and posters dotted around the practice. Many people are unaware of the risk factors and symptoms of mouth cancer, and raising awareness is essential for ensuring more cases are diagnosed and treated at an early stage.

As well as talking to patients about potential warning signs like lumps and swelling in the mouth, a persistent sore throat, difficulty swallowing and slow-healing mouth ulcers, the team is also on hand to push preventative measures. As smoking and drinking alcohol are the most significant risk factors, dentists and nurses are there to help those who wish to quit or cut down.

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