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Dental professionals urged to support Mouth Cancer Action Month 2018

By Dental Tribune UK
October 25, 2018

LONDON, UK: The Oral Health Foundation has called on dental and health professionals to raise awareness of mouth, or oral, cancer and communicate the importance of early detection by participating in November’s Mouth Cancer Action Month.

Though it is still a rare condition, mouth cancer is one of the few cancers that continues to increase in incidence. According to Dr Nigel Carter, Chief Executive of the Oral Health Foundation, the number of people in the UK diagnosed with this disease has increased by more than a third over the last decade, and its poor five-year survival rate makes it a cause for concern.

“Mouth cancer has a devastating effect on a person’s life,” said Carter. “It impacts areas many of us take for granted, such as our ability to eat, drink or even speak. It also takes a huge psychological and emotional impact by causing problems in communication, low self-esteem, social isolation and affects the family and friends of sufferers.”

Early detection of mouth cancer is a crucial factor in survival. If it is spotted in the early stages, the chances of survival can increase from 50 per cent to 90 per cent, according to Dr Henry Clover, Chief Dental Officer at Simplyhealth Professionals.

“Providing mouth cancer checks at routine appointments helps to identify early signs of the disease and gives patients the best chance of successful treatment and survival,” said Clover.

He added, “It also provides you with the ideal opportunity to talk to patients about mouth cancer and to discuss lifestyle choices linked with the disease such as smoking and alcohol, as well as to encourage self-examination at home.”

The Oral Health Foundation is anticipating that thousands of dental practices across the UK will participate in the campaign and help to improve education and awareness of mouth cancer. More information about Mouth Cancer Action Month can be found here.

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