On World Cancer Day, it’s timely to highlight an awareness of oral cancer and some concerning statistics.
- According to the ADA, oral cancers in Australians account for 2.9% of all cancers.
- Worryingly, Australia has recorded a 33.7% increase over the past decade, in cancers of the tongue and 12.3% increase in oral squamous cell carcinoma in other regions of the mouth.
- 75% of mouth and throat cancers occur in tobacco users
- Alcohol is another common cause of mouth cancer. Drinking to excess can increase the risk of mouth cancer by four times.
- Mouth cancer is twice as common in men than in women, though an increasing number of women are being diagnosed with the disease.
- Oral cancer is the eighth most common cancer worldwide, and the most common in men in South East Asia.
There is some good news
Chances of survival are improved if the cancer is detected early and rapidly treated. Oral cancers can be almost invisible making it easy to ignore in the early stages, so it is important to be aware of the warning signs and report any changes to your doctor or dentist.
Self-examinations and regular dental visits can help in the early identification. Early detection and rapid treatment is important. Some warning signs can include:
Difficulty with movement of the tongue or jaw.
Swelling around the mouth or jaw causing dentures to become uncomfortable.
Lumps or unusual growths of tissue.
A white or red patch or a nonhealing ulcer or lesion anywhere in the mouth.
Unexplained loosening of a tooth.
A persistent neck swelling.
A sore throat that persists, a change to the voice or hoarseness.
A numbness or altered sensation to the tongue.
Recurrent unexplained bleeding from the mouth.
If you have any concerns, have noticed any changes in your mouth or throat or are overdue for a check, please contact our friendly team for an appointment today.
Dr Craig Duval is committed to the highest standards of care for his patients through actively participating in professional development. Since 2003, Craig has attended over 200 hours of continuing education every year. Learn more