Mouth cancer is one of the fastest growing cancers in the UK; cases have increased by more than 40% in the last decade.
Mouth cancer can strike in a number of places including the lips, tongue, gums and cheeks. Make sure you visit your dentist if you have any ulcers that don’t heal within three weeks especially any unusual red or white patches, lumps or swellings in the mouth.
Here are some key facts from Cancer UK about Oral mouth cancer:
Here are the main causes of oral cancer:
More than two-thirds of oral cancers in men and more than half in women in the UK are caused by smoking.
Many people are unaware that using smokeless tobacco or chewing betel quid with or without tobacco, increases oral cancer risk. Inhaling other peoples smoke also increases oral cancer risk.
More than a third of oral cancers in men and around a sixth in women in the UK are linked to alcohol.
Infection with the human papillomavirus (HPV) increases risk of oral cancer, particularly in the oropharynx. Several other infections are also linked with increased risk.
A diet rich in fruit and vegetables reduces oral cancer risk. More than half of oral cancer cases in the UK are linked to insufficient fruit and vegetable intake.
Types of mouth cancer
Healthcare professionals categorise cancers by the type of cells the cancer first develops in.
Squamous cell carcinoma is the most common type of mouth cancer, accounting for 9 out of 10 cases. Squamous cells are found in many places around the body, including the inside of the mouth and under the skin.
Squamous cell carcinomas are also a common cause of skin cancers.
Less common types of mouth cancer include:
oral malignant melanoma – where the cancer starts in cells called melanocytes, which help give skin its colour.
adenocarcinomas – cancer
How Can I prevent Oral Cancer?
If you are a smoker try quitting. Unfortunately there is no way of stopping cancer however, you can decrease your chances of getting it by eating the right foods, brushing and flossing daily and making sure you visit your dentist regularly at least once a year.
If you are worried about mouth cancer and haven’t visited the dentist in a while call us on 01603 621613 to book your appointment.