Stoptober may be drawing to a close at the end of this month, but as we head into November, we’re raising awareness for Mouth Cancer Action Month. As smoking is one of the leading causes of mouth cancer, along with other oral health problems, now is the time to quit smoking and prioritise your overall wellbeing.
Here, we explore the causes behind poor oral health and highlight the resources available to you, so you can use Mouth Cancer Action Month to make a lasting, positive change.
Mouth Cancer Action Month
Understandably, any kind of cancer is difficult to talk about, but the best approach to tackle it is through knowledge and awareness. This way, you can make the right choices for yourself and your family for a long, healthy life.
Last year, 8,337 people were diagnosed with mouth cancer in the UK, with numbers rising every year. Claiming more lives than cervical and testicular cancer combined, it’s essential that we arm ourselves with the information to prevent it and detect it early.
Throughout November, Mouth Cancer Awareness Month will be pushing these messages, including the causes behind mouth cancer and how to reduce your risk, spotting signs of mouth cancer early, and what to do if you’re in doubt about your symptoms.
Know the risks
We know that smoking is one of the main causes of mouth cancer, but as 90% of risk factors are lifestyle-based, there are other things to be aware of to reduce your risk. These include:
- Quitting smoking or chewing tobacco
- Watching your alcohol intake
- Eating a healthy diet
Spot the symptoms
While leading a healthy lifestyle is important for our health overall, it’s also vital to stay on top of regular checks to spot any signs of diseases like mouth cancer. The good news is that you can easily check yourself at home, and regular dental check-ups will enable your dentist to spot cancer at an early stage. As with many forms of cancer, early detection is key to increasing your chance of beating it.
If you spot any of the following symptoms around your lips, gums or cheeks while examining yourself at home, it’s essential to speak with your doctor straight away:
- An ulcer that hasn’t healed within three weeks
- Red and white patches in the mouth
- Lumps or swellings around your mouth, and even in your head, or neck
The most significant action you can take to reduce mouth cancer starts with your own lifestyle choices. Prioritising your overall health, remembering to check your mouth regularly and scheduling routine dental check-ups will enable you to proactively look after your mouth. If you would like to get involved in Mouth Cancer Action month, you can donate or fundraise to help raise awareness of the disease.
Take care of your health and book your routine dental appointment now by calling 01482 565 488 or visiting 543dentalcentre.co.uk/contact-us