Be aware of the potential warning signs of mouth cancer: our new campaign launches

We’re launching a campaign to raise awareness of the risks of mouth cancer in the year ahead.

Mouth or oral cancer is not the most commonly discussed cancer although globally experts have identified it as having a rapid rise in cases over a ten year period.

In the UK there are about 6200 new cases each year – with around 700 of them in Scotland.

In Britain, more people die annually from mouth cancer than are killed in road traffic accidents (2010)*.

EARLY DETECTION

Early detection is possible through regular oral check-ups – and, as with most cancers, the sooner mouth cancer is diagnosed the better the chance of successful treatment.

All dentists are trained in the detection of mouth cancer – and look for any signs during regular check-up appointments with our patients.

We also have access to the Velscope – an innovative, hand-held device that provides dentists and hygienists with an easy-to-integrate examination system for the early detection of a wide variety of oral diseases, including pre-cancer and cancer.

Potential live saving tools such as Velscope, provide valuable assistance during examinations of the soft tissue in the mouth.

It is a simple and highly effective adjunct to our normal examination and can detect very early signs of oral cancers and abnormalities that may otherwise remain unnoticed. As clinicians, it is our duty of care to offer patients the most advanced treatments available.

During our campaign we will be working with the Scottish-based charity – The Ben Walton Trust. The Trust was set up in 1996 to commemorate the life of Ben Walton who was a university student when he lost a year-long battle with mouth cancer.

We are meeting the charity’s Michael Walton later today and will share more information about this charity following our meeting.

WARNING SIGNS

So what are the potential warning signs of mouth cancer?

• Lumps in the mouth that increase in
• Mouth ulcers that do not heal after two weeks
• Red, white or mixed patches in the mouth
• Persistent soreness in the mouth.

Please do bear in mind that most mouth conditions are not cancerous – but if you do have any concerns about any of the above you should contact your dentist or doctor as soon as possible.

MAIN ISSUES

Mouth cancer can be caused by a number of issues and the main ones are listed here…

• regular high alcohol consumption.
• smoking.
• poor diet
• poor oral hygiene.

The combination of the first two factors considerable heightens the risk.

What is interesting is that among patients under the age of 45, these traditional causes do not always seem to apply.

In the weeks and months ahead we’ll be sharing with you more information about mouth cancer and highlighting the work we, as dentists, do in its detection.

Should you have any questions about any of the above information, please don’t hesitate to contact us at the Glasgow dental clinic. Contact can be made via the website or by phoning the main clinic number on 0141 339 7579.

*information from the Ben Walton Trust www.benwaltontrust.org<