This November, people across Bradford, Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven are being encouraged to look out for signs of Mouth Cancer as part of Mouth Cancer Action Month, which runs from 1 to 30 November 2022.
The Community Dental service from Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust is asking people to be more mouth aware, and all throughout November is sharing the potential warning signs of mouth cancer that people can look out for, as well as factors that could put them more at risk.
According to the Mouth Cancer Foundation and the Oral Health Foundation over the last year 8, 337 people in the UK were given the life-changing news that they have mouth cancer. The disease has grown by a third in the last decade – and remains one of the very few cancers which are predicted to increase further in the coming years.
This is why the team is urging people to look out for warning signs and get checked out early if needed. Possible symptoms include:
- Red, white or speckled patches in the mouth that can’t be wiped off.
- Mouth ulcers or sores that take longer than three weeks to heal.
- A lump or thickening in the mouth.
- Problems chewing or swallowing lasting more than three weeks.
- A sore throat that lasts longer than three weeks.
On top of this, there are things the Community Dental team is encourage everyone to do, to reduce their risk of developing this potentially life-threatening disease:
- Check your mouth regularly and visit your dentist or GP immediately if you notice anything unusual.
- Stop smoking/chewing tobacco.
- Don’t drink more than the recommended limit of alcohol.
- Maintain a healthy and balanced diet.
- If in doubt, get checked out.
Sharon Walker, Oral Health Lead said: “Mouth Cancer Action Month is the UK’s biggest charity campaign for mouth cancer awareness. It’s so important because mouth cancer kills more people in the UK every year than cervical and testicular cancer combined.
“Spotting the disease early can increases chances of survival, so early detection is key. We encourage people to check their mouths regularly and seek medical advice from a dentist or doctor if they notice anything abnormal.
“We also want people to be more aware that some lifestyle choices they make can lead to mouth cancer developing, but our key message is: if in doubt, get checked out.”