Mouth Cancer Awareness Day 2014 – Wednesday, September 17
Mouth cancer is an important global healthcare problem. There are more than 300 cases of cancer of the mouth (oral cavity and pharynx) reported in Ireland every year. These cancers are more common in men than in women. However this is changing. The incidence rate of cancer of the mouth in women has increased significantly at a rate of 3% per year since 1994. It mainly affects older people although younger people are being diagnosed now. In Britain, the incidence of mouth cancer has increased faster than any other cancer in the past 25 years.
According to the National Cancer Registry in Ireland, roughly half of all mouth cancers and even less of cancers of the pharynx are diagnosed at an early stage. This can result in more complex treatment with greater impact on quality of life and overall survival. Whilst it depends on the cancer site we know that more than half of those treated will have good survival outcomes and this continues to improve each year.
Early detection of mouth cancer greatly improves the chances of survival.
To find out more about mouth cancer, the signs and symptoms, the risk factors or other information about cancer please follow the link www.cancer.ie.
Dentists have a key role to play in the early detection of mouth cancer and in the prevention of the disease by identifying those patients who are exposed to risk factors.
On Wednesday September 17th, free mouth cancer examinations will be offered throughout the country. The examination is quick and painless. Please take this opportunity by taking 10 minutes to do something that could save your life!
How can I make sure that my mouth stays healthy?
Visit a dentist regularly even if you wear dentures. This is especially important if you smoke and drink alcohol.
When brushing your teeth, look out for any changes in your mouth or neck. Early warning signs include ulcers that do not heal within three weeks, red or white patches in the mouth, or other unusual changes in the mouth or neck.
When exposed to the sun, make sure to use the correct type of barrier cream on your lips.
Eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. A good diet, rich in vitamins A, C and E, helps the body to protect itself from most cancers.
Avoid the risk factors for mouth cancer.
Smoking tobacco – cigarettes, roll-ups, cigars, pipes or cannabis.
Excessive alcohol consumption.
Using both tobacco and alcohol together – this greatly increases your risk.
Excessive exposure to sunlight or radiation (for lip cancer).
Chewing tobacco, betelguid, gutkha and paan.
A diet lacking in fruit and vegetables.
Viral infections, e.g., human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV can be spread through oral sex.
Members of the public are encouraged to visit their local participating dentist or Cork Dental University Hospital for a FREE mouth cancer examination on Wednesday, September 17. Check here for lists of participating dentists. Those wishing to receive a free mouth cancer examination at Cork University Dental School and Hospital on 17th September will be seen by appointment only. To arrange an appointment, call 021 490 1169. This dedicated phone line will be manned from 10am-2pm from Wednesday 11th September to Tuesday 17th September (excluding Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th)
If you are concerned about cancer, worried about symptoms or you just want to know more about how you can reduce your risk of getting cancer why not talk to a specialist cancer nurse on the National Cancer Helpline on freefone 1 800 200 700. The opening hours are 9-7pm Monday to Thursday and 9-5pm on Fridays. You can email the nurse also email@example.com or talk to a nurse live on cancerchat or talk to others in the cancerforum at www.cancer.ie