Mouth Cancer Awareness Campaign to Return Next Month

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The Oral Health Foundation has called for dental professionals to pledge their help and support as part of Mouth Cancer Action Month this November.

The campaign aims to increase early diagnoses of mouth cancer by teaching the public of the symptoms and risk factors, as well as encouraging people to talk about these issues with their dentist.

Mouth cancer is one of the only cancers that seems to increase in prevalence each year and cases have risen by more than a third in the last 10 years alone. Dentists are on the first line of defense against mouth cancer, so their participation and support is fundamental in helping the battle against a disease that claims more lives than cervical and testicular cancer combined every year.

Dr Nigel Carter OBE, CEO of the Oral Health Foundation, explained how dental professionals are central to the campaign. He said that it’s possible that we all know someone who has had a cancer diagnosis at some point in their life and are familiar with both the physical and emotional pain it can cause.

He added that mouth cancer can have a detrimental effect on a person’s life. He said it affects the parts of life many of us may take for granted, like our ability to drink, eat, speak or even breath. It can cause nutritional deficiencies and mental health problems such as depression. He said that sometimes the social isolation, impact on relationships, low self-esteem and communication difficulties can almost cause as much distress as the physical cancer itself.

Dr Carter said that unfortunately, survival rates for mouth cancer have seen no improvement in the last three decades. He said that by being “mouthaware” and noticing the signs of mouth cancer early enough, patients can have the best possible chance to beat mouth cancer and enjoy a good quality of life.

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