Prevention of Mouth Cancers
Mouth cancer is a disease which gets less publicity than many other forms of cancers such as breast cancer and prostate cancer, yet this disease kills approximately two thousand people each year in the UK alone and over six hundred thousand worldwide. Like most cancers, early detection is very often the key to a successful treatment regime yet few are aware of how easy it is to have it spotted by a professional.
There are some early signs that can be looked for in the mirror and these include white and red patches in the mouth and often ulcers which don’t clear up within a few weeks. Any unusual irregularities may also be a sign of cancer although equally, they may be nothing significant. The worse thing that you can do though is to put your head in the sand and ignore it. If you are in any doubt then you should get a professional to check it out. If the disease is caught early enough, the chances of survival rise from a lowly 50% to a little over 90% so ignoring the problem will only make things much worse.
Visit Your Dentist
The easiest way to monitor the health of your mouth of course, is to ensure that you visit your dentist on a regular basis. Most dentists are now trained to look for early signs of mouth cancer and although they can’t treat them, even the simple detection will make a huge difference to your chances of a long life provided that you act on their advice and see your doctor who will check for cancers and possibly refer you to a specialist. Don’t forget though that even if your dentist suggests that there may be a problem, this is not always the case but acts as an alert to a potential problem which the medical profession will be able to confirm or deny after checking.
There are also factors that increase the risk of mouth cancer with smoking and drinking being two of the key factors that significantly increase the risk. Poor diet too is thought to be a contributing factor as well as the HPV virus which is increasingly being seen in younger people and is transmitted through oral sex.
Cancer Does Kill
The fact that mouth cancer does not currently have the same media publicity that prostate cancer does for example, does not mean that it is not as serious. Make no mistake about it, mouth and oral cancers can, and do, kill. However, the chances of death and an increase in healthy life depends largely on early detection and treatment so make sure that you have yours checked on a regular basis by a professional.
Alan Bonnio is an ex smoker who was warned by his dentist ( www.alexandradentalcare.co.uk ) about the risks of mouth cancer if he continued to smoke. With the help of nicotine patches, he has finally quit but still keeps up regular checks at his dentist.