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Mouth cancer cases have increased by 36% over the last decade, making it crucial to recognize the symptoms and seek medical attention early.
According to the Oral Health Foundation, 8,864 people in the UK were diagnosed with the disease in 2021, with 3,034 people dying from it within the year.
The increase in deaths by 40% in the last 10 years and 20% in the last five is due to emerging risk factors like the human papillomavirus (HPV), which is catching up with traditional causes like smoking and excessive alcohol consumption.
Symptoms of mouth cancer include painful mouth ulcers, persistent lumps in the mouth or neck, loose teeth or sockets, numbness of the lip or tongue, white or red patches in the mouth or tongue, and changes in speech.
If any of these symptoms persist for more than three weeks, it is advised to seek help from a doctor or dentist, especially if you smoke or drink alcohol regularly.
Mouth cancer can be treated by surgery, radiotherapy, or chemotherapy, and preventative measures include reducing tobacco and alcohol intake, maintaining a healthy diet, and regular dental check-ups.
This article was updated 4 months ago