Almost nine-in-ten (88%) UK adults have now heard of mouth cancer. However, awareness on the signs, symptoms and risk factors is poor.
To help raise awareness, Be Well Tameside’s team hosted a stall on Wednesday 8 November and will be hosting another at Tameside General Hospital, Hartshead Building North Reception on Wednesday 22 November 10am – 2pm.
Be Well Tameside will also provide information on how to access NHS dental care.
The signs and symptoms of mouth cancer include: a mouth ulcer that does not heal within three weeks; white or red patches in the mouth; unusual lumps or swellings in the mouth, head or neck and; any persistent ‘hoarseness’.
With early diagnosis, the chances of surviving mouth cancer are nine out of ten and that’s why knowing what to look out for is so important.
More than three-in-four (80%) of new cases are in those over the age of 55.
During Mouth Cancer Action Month, Be Well Tameside are promoting the message ‘if in doubt, get checked out’. Be Well Tameside are encouraging everybody to be mouth aware and pay close attention to what is going on inside the mouth.
Most importantly, if you notice anything out of the ordinary, it is essential that you tell your dentist or doctor immediately.
A mouth cancer check can be done at home and it takes less than one minute, it is recommended to perform a self-check every month. Click here to see how.
It is unknown what causes most mouth cancers. However, several factors are likely to increase your risk. Up to 90% of all mouth cancers are linked to certain risk factors. For instance, around 2 in 3 mouth cancers are linked to smoking, whereas alcohol is linked to just under a third of mouth cancers. Many recent reports have also linked mouth cancer to the human papillomavirus (HPV), chewing and smokeless tobacco, an unhealthy diet, and sunlight and sunbeds.
Tameside Council Executive Member for Population Health and Wellbeing Councillor Eleanor Wills said: “We are encouraging all residents to check their mouths regularly, as by spotting mouth cancer early, we have a much better chance of beating it.
“We can also make a few small changes to our lives, which will help cut our chances of developing mouth cancer. If you would like support, our Be Well Tameside service can assist you in making positive changes, so get in touch today!”
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