Dentists offering free screening as part of Mouth Cancer Action Month

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A team of dental experts are visiting South Tyneside to provide patients with free screening for oral cancer.

The initiative is part of the national Mouth Cancer Action Month campaign, which is being run by the British Dental Health Foundation to try and raise awareness about oral cancer and encourage people to keep an eye out for signs and symptoms of oral cancer.

The team will be stationed at Cleadon Park Primary Care Centre next Wednesday, the 17th November between 10am and 3pm.

Recent statistics have shown that the number of cases of oral cancer has increased by around 40 percent in the last decade alone. In the UK, a person dies every five hours from the disease; however, it has a low media profile and therefore many people are unaware of the symptoms and do not get treatment. Screening allows dentists to check for signs and symptoms, including sores which do not heal, red and white patches in the mouth and throat and unusual swellings in the throat or mouth. The main risk factors for oral cancer include smoking, drinking alcohol on a regular basis and eating a diet lacking in fruit and vegetables.

Dental experts are also trying to encourage patients to attend regular check-ups; this allows them to keep an eye on general oral health as well as enabling them to diagnose serious conditions, including oral cancer, at a very early stage; early diagnosis and treatment can improve survival rates by up to 90 percent. 

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