Oral cancer is a form of cancer, which affects the soft tissues in the mouth and the throat; it has become increasingly prevalent in the UK in recent years and the number of cases has almost doubled in the last decade. More than 6,000 new cases of oral cancer are diagnosed every year, but public awareness of mouth cancer remains relatively low and this means that most cases are diagnosed at a late stage when there is a high risk that cancer has spread to other parts of the body. The major risk factors for oral cancer include smoking, regular alcohol consumption, exposure to the HPV (human papilloma virus) and a poor diet lacking in nutrients and vitamins.
What are the signs of oral cancer?
Being aware of the symptoms of mouth cancer can increase the chances of survival significantly. The most common warning signs to look out for include red or white patches in the mouth or throat, any abnormal swelling, a persistent cough and ulcers or sores that take longer than 2 weeks to heal.
If you notice any of these symptoms, arrange to see your dentist or your GP; it is highly likely that there will be nothing to worry about, but it’s always best to get checked out.
Oral cancer screening
At Aqua Dental Spa we actively promote regular checks and during a check-up we will not only search for symptoms of decay and gum disease, but also check for potential warning signs for oral cancer. We also offer screening using the latest technology to detect any changes in the soft tissue before they are visible to the naked eye; this enables early treatment, which can increase the chances of survival by up to 90 per cent.