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Report reveals the devastating impact of mouth cancer

The State of Mouth Cancer UK Report 2019/20

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The State of Mouth Cancer UK Report 2019/20 is the UK's only comprehensive review into mouth cancer and the Exeter dentists at Life Dental and Wellbeing would like to help raise awareness of its findings in this blog.

The report looks at the very latest statistics for the disease, including new incidence figures, survival rates and where the disease is most likely to appear, as well as trends over time. 

A summary of the key findings

  • New cases of mouth cancer in the UK have now reached 8,337 a year.
  • This has increased by 64% in the last decade and by 171% compared with 20 years ago.
  • 56% of mouth cancers appear on the tongue and tonsils.
  • Last year, 2,701 Brits lost their life to mouth cancer.
  • The ten-year survival rate is between 19% and 58%, depending on where the cancer strikes and how early it is diagnosed.
  • Almost nine-in-ten (88%) British adults have now heard of mouth cancer. However, awareness on the signs, symptoms and risk factors is poor. Around two-in-three (64%) do not know the major signs and symptoms for mouth cancer.
  • Awareness on the major risk factors of mouth cancer is as low as 21%.
  • Better lifestyle choices, earlier diagnosis and improved access to dentistry are some of the key challenges in confronting mouth cancer.
  • Calls for more investment in education and national exposure of the disease, as well as a catch-up programme for HPV vaccinations.   

It is so important that we learn more about the risk factors, signs and symptoms and where to go if we spot anything out of the ordinary, reminds our principal dentist, Ben Pearson.  By doing this, we can prevent some cases from happening and improve early diagnosis rates.

Be mouth aware

Long lasting ulcers, red or white patches and unusual lumps and bumps are three common warning signs of mouth cancer. A simple check takes only 45 seconds and could be life-saving 

The everyday choices we make can affect our chances of developing mouth cancer. Smoking cigarettes significantly increases your risk of developing the disease. Find out what else increase your risk at www.dentalhealth.org/mouthcancer.

Regular visits to your dental team are so important. Attending appointments as often as we recommend makes it more likely that any problems will be caught as early as possible, including mouth cancer. 

Mouth cancer cases are on the rise, but awareness is dangerously low. Take control and learn how to be mouth aware.

The earlier a problem is caught, the easier it tends to be to tackle. Mouth cancer is no exception. The smaller the affected area, the better the chances are of a full recovery. 

The report has been released by the Oral Health Foundation and Denplan as part of Mouth Cancer Action Month, which takes place every November.

If in doubt, get checked out! 

If you have any concerns about your mouth, please get in touch with us as soon as possible to make an appointment. Our dental practice in Queen Street provides excellent dental care to the people of Exeter and across Devon.

Bryony Gibbons
Bryony Gibbons
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