Northern Ireland health professionals team up to raise awareness of oral cancer as rates are predicted to double by 2035

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Health professionals in Northern Ireland have teamed up to try and raise awareness of mouth cancer, as statistics suggest that the number of cases is set to double by 2035.

According to figures from the Northern Ireland Cancer Registry, the number of cases of mouth cancer diagnosed in the region is predicted to double over the course of the next 20 years. At the moment, around 200 new cases are diagnosed each year in Northern Ireland and a third of people lose their lives due to being diagnosed at an advanced stage.

Health professionals are hoping to educate people about mouth cancer and encourage them to seek advice if they do spot suspicious signs. Early detection can elevate survival chances up to above 90 percent, but the worry is that most people are unaware of the signs and symptoms, and also the risk factors. The vast majority of cases of oral cancer are linked to lifestyle factors and people could reduce their risk of developing the disease if they were aware of the implications of habits such as smoking and drinking. If you drink and smoke, you’re more than 30 times more likely to develop mouth cancer.

The Public Health Agency, the British Dental Association, the Health and Social Care Board and Cancer Focus Northern Ireland have been working together throughout November to support Mouth Cancer Action Month and ensure more people are aware of this potentially deadly disease.

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