Sevenoaks dentists say early diagnosis of mouth cancer saves lives
Our Sevenoaks dentists explain that more than 2,000 people lose their life to mouth cancer in the UK every year. Although the number of mouth cancer cases has increased steadily over the last decade, more people are being treated successfully and are living for longer.
Early detection for mouth cancer results in a survival outcome of 90% but delayed diagnosis means survival rates plummet to as little as 50%. So, the message from the dentists at Mckenzies Dental Surgery in London Road is please ensure you attend regularly for your dental and hygiene appointments. Make it a resolution in 2017 to put your health and wellbeing at the top of your list of priorities.
Dentists are best placed to check for mouth cancer and all of our new patients receive a mouth cancer screening as standard. Existing patients are checked at every visit to ensure their mouths are healthy and any changes are discussed as soon as possible.
Signs and symptoms of mouth cancer:
As mouth cancer can strike in a number of places, including the lips, tongue, gums and cheeks, and given that early detection is so crucial for survival, it’s extremely important that we all know what to look out for. Three signs and symptoms NOT to ignore are:
- Ulcers that do not heal in three weeks
- Red and white patches in the mouth
- Unusual lumps or swellings in the mouth or head and neck area
If any of these are noticed, it is essential that you tell your dentist (or your doctor) immediately.
The danger group are those who smoke and drink alcohol to excess. These people increase their risk of mouth cancer by up to 30 times. For those who do smoke and drink, please be aware of this risk. It is especially important that you visit the dentist regularly so we can examine your mouth.
By learning more about mouth cancer, we can help lower our risk of developing the disease and we can also pass our knowledge on to those we love and care about. By understanding more about how healthy lifestyle choices can increase our chances of staying cancer free, we can also improve the state of our oral health and general wellbeing.