Nottinghamshire Healthcare is urging local residents to be more mouth aware and recognise the early warning signs of mouth cancer, as part of Mouth Cancer Action Month throughout November.
Awareness of the disease remains alarmingly low but the Trust’s Oral Health Promotion Team, say a simple 45-second check is often all that’s needed to identify anything unusual and seek professional advice.
Julia Wilkinson, Head of Oral Health for the Trust says: “Early diagnosis transforms our chances of beating mouth cancer from 50 to 90 percent so it’s crucial that we know what to look out for and seek advice from a health professional.
“A mouth ulcer that does not heal within three weeks, red or white patches in the mouth and unusual lumps or swellings in the mouth or head and neck area, can all be potential signs of mouth cancer so it’s important to be aware of any changes occurring inside your mouth. If you notice anything out of the ordinary you should speak to your dentist or a doctor.”
With more than 7500 people diagnosed with mouth cancer in the UK last year, the disease is one of the UK’s fastest increasing cancers, with cases rising by a third in the last decade alone.
The Oral Health Promotion Team, known as the Tooth Fairies of Nottingham, also hosted an event where they encouraged dental professionals to promote mouth cancer awareness more with their clients in the local community. The team launched a new Oral Health Alliance called ‘The Smile Squad’, which aims to bring together local professionals to support oral health initiatives across Nottingham City and Nottinghamshire. For more information on “The Smile Squad”, and how you can get involved, contact the team on 0115 9931485 or visit www.nottinghamoralhealth.com.