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Oral Cancer: Do you know the signs?


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April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month

Oral Cancer is on the rise. There were over 7,000 new cases confirmed in the last year alone.


By spotting mouth cancer early, we have a much better chance of beating it.

With early diagnosis, the chances of surviving mouth cancer are nine out of ten – those odds are pretty good, and that’s why knowing what to look out for is so important.

Sadly, far too many mouth cancers are not spotted early enough.

So, here are some signs and symptoms to look out for:

  1. Be more aware if you are a smoker or a heavy drinker. Although anyone can develop some form of oral cancer, it’s more likely to be diagnosed in a smoker or heavy drinker. If you can, quit smoking, and limit yourself to under 10 units of alcohol a week. This will reduce your chances of developing cancer.
  2. Check for mouth ulcers. We all get annoying and painful ulcers every now and again, but if you’ve got one thats reoccuring, or has been around for more than 3 weeks, then it’s best to get it checked.
  3. Unexplained lumps in the mouth or neck that don’t go away. If you’ve got anything that feels strange, lumpy, or tender to the touch and it doesn’t go away, come and see us. This can be anywhere on your neck, cheek, tongue, back of your throat, your hard palate or your gums.
  4. Unexplained loose teeth or sockets that don’t heal after an extraction. We usually review patients after an extraction anyway, but they should heal within a couple of days, a week at most. Any longer than this, then give us a call.
  5. Unexplained, persistent numbness or an odd feeling on the lip or tongue. If you suddenly go numb in an area that you weren’t before, come and see us.
  6. White or red patches on the lining of the mouth or tongue. Anything that differs to the usual, pinky, orange peel looking skin inside your mouth, could be a sign of cancer. Specifically, areas that go a different colour, or go lumpy or feel a bit strange.
  7. Changes in speech, such as a lisp. If you suddenlystart speaking like Daffy Duck, call us!

We always carry out a mouth cancer screening during appointments, but sometimes, we don’t see people for months, sometimes years. If you can’t get to us, then doing a quick check infront of the mirror at home could save your life. Take a look at the info box below to see how to check yourself for signs of cancer.

If you have any questions or would like to get checked out, please call us on 0121 550 6958.



If in doubt, get it checked out!

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