Mouth Cancer: Facts, Figures and Top Six Tips
Facts and Figures
- Mouth cancer is more common in men than women, but the gap is closing
- Mouth cancer is more likely to affect people over 40 years of age, though an increasing number of young people are developing the condition
- Smoking, drinking alcohol and poor diet are major risk factors
- Risk rises dramatically for people who are both smokers and heavy drinkers
- Early detection and treatment considerably increases survival chances, allows for simpler treatment and results in a better quality of life for sufferers
- Only six percent of people demonstrate unprompted awareness of mouth cancer
- Of the people who have heard of mouth cancer 76 percent are aware of a link between smoking and developing the condition, but only 19 percent of people are aware of a link to alcohol misuse
- People aged between 25 and 34 years have the highest knowledge about the links between mouth cancer, smoking and alcohol
Top Six Tips
- Don’t think that because you are young and lead a healthy lifestyle you are not at risk. Mouth cancer can affect anyone, young or old, male or female. A quarter of cases do not involve risk factors such as smoking or alcohol.
- The best way to reduce your risk of contracting the disease is to avoid smoking, using chewing tobacco, or drinking alcohol. People who both smoke and drink heavily increase their risk by up to 30.
- The chances of contracting the disease increases with age – men over 40 are particularly at risk.
- Many of the symptoms of mouth cancer, such as a white or red patch in the mouth, are hard to detect. If you have a mouth ulcer which does not heal within three weeks, or notice any discomfort or other changes in your mouth, visit your dentist to have it checked.
- Early detection and treatment is the key to surviving the illness, so regular dental checkups are very important. If you haven’t been for a check-up in the last year, you should arrange one now.
- Dentists and dental hygienists are specifically trained to carry out examinations for mouth cancer, so they should be your first point of contact if you have any concerns.
- The Oral Cancer Foundation - Oral cancer information and resources for both the public, health care professionals and care givers
- What You Need To Know About Oral Cancer - National Cancer Institute
- Mouth Cancer Awareness. Oral Cancer in throat, tongue, jaw, head and neck.
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