Screening for oral cancer
Mouth cancer is a serious disease that affects more than 5000 people in the UK each year. Nearly 2,000 people die each year with more men than women suffering from the disease. There is only around a 50% survival rate over 5 years if detected late. However, early detection improves survival rate drastically to nearer 90%. The main risk factors are smoking and or alcohol but there can often be no obvious reasons.
Mouth cancer appears in different forms including:
A white patch or red patch
A painless ulcer that does not clear up or, a small lump.
It affects those with natural teeth and people with dentures.
It can affect all parts of the mouth but common sites are; lip, tongue, floor of the mouth, cheek lining and behind the lower back teeth.
It can spread into the jaws and the lymph glands in the neck.
It may or may not be clinically detectable. The dentist can carry out a simple mouth wash based test for early screening.
The good news is that the mouth is easy to inspect so it is relatively simple to find the cancer early to start treatment. The main problem is that people do not visit their dentist for regular oral health checks. Small cancers can be symptomless so do not delay in seeking help for any non-healing sore or persistent lump.
Make sure you visit your dentist regularly. To book an appointment ring our reception on 0121 553 5683.
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