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Support Mouth Cancer Action Month 2017: dentists can save lives

1 November 2017

 

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The British Dental Association encourages dental professionals to support Mouth Cancer Action Month during the month of November to raise awareness and help fight the alarming growth in mouth cancers across the UK.

Organised by Oral Health Foundation, the campaign aims to get more mouth cancers diagnosed at an early stage by educating people on the risk factors, signs and symptoms; and encouraging the public to discuss their oral health with a dental professional.

Like many cancers early detection makes such a vital difference to a person's chance of survival, in terms of mouth cancer early detection can dramatically increase the chances of survival to 90% from 50% - dentists can play a key role in this.

 

Shocking rise in mouth cancers across the UK

Mouth cancer is one of the few cancers which continues to see incidence increase year-on-year, with cases rising by over a third in the last decade alone.

Incidence rates for oral cancer are projected to rise by 33% in the UK between 2014 and 2035, to 20 cases per 100,000 people by 2035.

 

Many of the causes of the disease are lifestyle-related, including smoking and alcohol consumption. 

 

There has been an alarming increase in the incidence of oropharyngeal cancers, particularly among younger people, with HPV emerging as the key risk factor.

 

Helping dentists' to save lives: oral cancer toolkit

The BDA/Cancer Research UK toolkit is a free online resource for dental professionals to help identify and refer possible cases of oral cancer.

 

How can I get involved?

The BDA encourages all dental professionals to take part in Mouth Cancer Action Month, to help increase awareness of the disease, particularly the risk factors amongst patients, and to be on the lookout for the symptoms.

 

What other resources are available?

Our mouth cancer page has advice on how to keep up to date with your clinical knowledge, including our Occasional Paper, Early detection and prevention of oral cancer: A management strategy for dental practice, as well as information about BDA CPD events and seminars.

 

Share your story

We'd love to hear what you have done during the month, please email and tell us and check out our blogs.