December 14, 2011 at 12:09 pm
Would you be able to spot the early signs of oral cancer? It seems that many of us perhaps wouldn’t. Recent results from a survey into public awareness of mouth cancer symptoms have been described as ‘alarming’ by Dr Nigel Carter, the chief executive of the British Dental Health Foundation (BDHF).
The results of the survey –which focussed mainly on young people aged 12 to 16 and their parents –highlight a significant lack of awareness of mouth cancer, with the majority of people questioned not knowing any of its symptoms. The results also showed that mouth cancer awareness is low among men, with only one in six having knowledge of the symptoms.
Once predominantly occurring in men over the age of 40, oral cancer has increased by nearly 50 percent over the last decade – with women and younger people now more at risk because of changes in ‘attitudes towards drinking and smoking’ and lifestyles. While alcohol and tobacco use are the main risk factors, it’s also believed that a high consumption of fried or processed foods should be avoided.
And the things we should be looking out for? ‘Ulcers that don’t heal within 3 weeks, red and white patches in the mouth, and unusual lumps or swellings in the mouth’ according to the BDHF.
Detecting the disease early is important, so if in doubt, get checked out!
For more information on this topic please see our be healthy article Brushing Up On Dental Health. And if you have any questions about dental care or oral cancer, please let us know in the comments and one of our experts will be happy to help.
Alternatively you can read our about what our dental cover offers here.