Macmillan shares new Facebook post to raise awareness of mouth cancer on World Oral Health Day

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Macmillan Cancer Support has shared a new Facebook post to raise awareness of mouth cancer on World Oral Health Day.

Despite the fact that oral cancer kills more people in the UK than cervical and testicular cancer combined, public awareness of mouth cancer is low. Only a third of people surveyed by the Oral Health Foundation were aware of the main symptoms of the disease, which has become much more common in the last ten years.

To encourage people to take a look at their mouths and be aware of symptoms, Macmillan has shared a photograph of the mouth and a list of signs and symptoms, which include red or white patches in the mouth, slow-healing ulcers in the mouth or in the lips, lumps or abnormal swelling in the mouth, throat or neck, bad breath, unexplained oral bleeding, difficulty swallowing and rapid, unexplained weight loss.

Mouth cancer, like most other forms of cancer, can be treated effectively, but the prognosis depends heavily on the time of diagnosis. As many people are unaware of the symptoms, the majority of cases are currently diagnosed at an advanced stage when the chances of survival are lower.

To prevent mouth cancer and ensure that more cases are identified and treated at an early stage, Macmillan is encouraging patients to be mouth aware and also to attend regular check-ups. Dentists will look for signs and potential symptoms during a routine check-up, and some clinics also offer advanced screening tests that use high-tech cameras to pick up tissue abnormalities that may not yet be visible to the human eye.

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