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Mouth Cancer - Know the Risks

Mouth Cancer;  Know the Risks

Despite cancer rates in general falling and survival improving, this is not the case with mouth cancer, with cases increasing by more than 40% in the last decade alone.  Around twice as many men are diagnosed with mouth cancer than women while those over the age of 40 are statistically more at risk.

More than 9 in every 10 cases are linked to lifestyle and risk factors.  By making slight changes to your daily routine, you can help reduce your chance of developing mouth cancer.


 Tobacco.  This is the leading cause of mouth cancer.  Tobacco damages the cells in your mouth and can turn them into cancerous cells.


Chewing or smokeless tobacco.  Smokeless and chewing tobacco like betel quid is not a “safe” alternative to traditional cigarettes.


Human papilloma virus (HPV) is the world’s most common sexually transmitted virus and it is expected to become the leading cause of the disease in the near future.


Alcohol.  Excessive use of alcohol is linked to more than a third of mouth cancer cases in men and a fifth in women.  Heavy drinkers and smokers are up to 35 times more at risk.


Diet.  New research has suggested that there is a noticeable risk reduction for mouth cancer with each additional daily serving of fruit and vegetables.


Signs and symptoms not to ignore are;

Ulcers which do not heal in 3 weeks

Red and white patches in the mouth

Unusual lumps or swellings in the mouth or head and neck area

Difficulty in swallowing or a feeling that something is caught in your throat.

Altered sensation in the mouth or neck




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