November is Mouth Cancer Action Month

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How much do you know about mouth cancer? Oral cancer is reasonably common, but a lot of people don’t know how to spot the signs.

Last year in the UK, more than 8,000 people were diagnosed with a form of mouth cancer. This figure has raised by a third in recent years, and it’s expected that the disease will become more and more common in the future.

The Mouth Cancer Action Month campaign aims to make as many people as possible mouth aware. The earlier mouth cancers can be caught, the easier they are to treat. Staying vigilant for changes in your mouth and discussing anything you find with your dentist is so important to keep your mouth healthy.

What are the risk factors for mouth cancer?

Anyone can get mouth cancer, but there are some risk factors that can make it more likely. These include:

  • Smoking
  • High alcohol intake
  • Chewing tobacco
  • Unhealthy diet
  • Using sunbeds, or high exposure to UV rays in sunlight
  • Having previously suffered from mouth or other cancers
  • Having a weakened immune system
  • Having a family history of mouth cancer

What do you need to look out for?

Whether you’re at greater risk of mouth cancer or not, it’s important to keep a look out for warning signs of the disease.

It’s recommended that you regularly check your mouth and lips for any changes. In particular, check for any worrying lumps or bumps, red or white patches, or mouth ulcers that don’t heal within three weeks.

What should you do if you’re worried?

If you have any concerns about changes in your mouth, the best thing to do is to talk to a medical professional. Your dentist will be able to investigate any issues and advise you on the next steps.

You can also find out more information on the Mouth Cancer Action Month homepage.