Mouth Cancer Awareness Week 2010: Dentists can help with early detection of mouth cancer

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The UK based charity, The Mouth Cancer Foundation, have announced that they will be hosting The Mouth Cancer Awareness week from 14 – 20 November 2010. Leaflets for information and distribution about mouth cancer are downloadable from their website. As a precursor to the event, their free-to-all 2010 Annual 10K Mouth Cancer Walk will take place in Kensington Gardens, London, on 18 September 2010.

Such events are aimed at educating the public more about mouth cancer. Mouth cancer is classified as a cancer that occurs in any area of the mouth, salivary glands, tongue, lips, throat, pharynx, sinus, larynx, or in the head and surrounding area. Symptoms may include non-healing mouth ulcer, lumps in the mouth, white or red marks on the gums, tongue or mouth lining, throat or nose obstruction, tongue numbness, jaw and neck swelling, tooth mobility, and persistent earache. Excess smoking and alcohol consumption, and HPV transmitted through frequent oral sex with an infected partner, are causes but there are also unexplained causes.

Although we often hear about breast cancer awareness and see supporters wearing the pink ribbon through media promotion, and assume breast cancer death rates are higher, research reveals that mouth cancer is responsible for a higher number of deaths in comparison to cases. The risk of mouth cancer can be reduced through healthy lifestyle choices, and visiting a dentist for check-ups can help address concerns over any symptoms. Early detection is key to treating mouth cancer.

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