Mouth Cancer Action Month is a charity campaign from The British Dental Health Foundation run throughout November to raise awareness of mouth cancer and save lives through early detection and prevention.
In the UK alone over 6000 cases are reported each year. Unfortunately, the incidence of oral cancer has continued to increase over the past 3 decades and remains one of very few cancers which is predicted to increase further in the coming years.
The major risk factors have been known for years – tobacco use and alcohol misuse. Cigarette smoking will give you a 3 times greater risk of developing cancer than a non smoker. Second-hand or environmental tobacco smoke has also been named a probable cause of mouth cancer. In addition, chewing tobacco can increasing the risk of mouth cancer by up to four times, it causes problems for the heart by tightening blood vessels and raising blood pressure.
A new emerging risk factor is Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), and may be contributing to an increased incidence of oral cancer in younger patients.
The quicker oral cancer is detected the better the prognosis. Here at The Dental Surgery we complete a thorough oral cancer screening at every dental examination. To help us in early detection we may use VELscope® Vx Enhanced Oral Assessment System. This is a handheld scope that uses natural tissue fluorescence to help detect abnormalities in the oral mucosa.
We also have close links with a network of Specialist Consultants and hospitals to ensure your best care. This is through an established rapid referral service via Saving Faces.
So let us help you, please visit for regular dental examinations and oral cancer screenings.
If you have any areas of concern in your mouth please give us a call, even if your dental examination is not due. Oral cancer remains rare, but we should all be on the look out.
In particular look for any red or white patches or any ulcers that persist for more than 2 weeks.
EARLY DETECTION IS VITAL!