Oral cancer is one of the most prevalent life-threatening diseases in the UK. Cancer Research UK revealed that about 6,800 people were diagnosed with the disease in 2011, whilst about 2,119 died in 2012 because of it. Furthermore, incidence rates went up by a third in the last decade.
What is it?
It is the growth of abnormal cells in the lips, pharynx and other parts of the mouth. Symptoms include the development of permanent sores, white or red patches, numbness or bleeding in the mouth. It may cause a variety of problems, such as chewing problems, weight loss and a chronic sore throat.
Oral cancer can be life threatening if left untreated. The best way to deal with it is by knowing the risk factors. Here are the types of people who have higher chances of getting oral cancer:
Oral cancer is more common among older men, according to researchers. A fifth of oral cancer cases occurred in people aged 75 and older. In addition, there were 15 new oral cancer cases for every 100,000 males in the UK, and 7 for every 100,000 females.
People with habits
The risk of oral cancer is 3 times higher for frequent tobacco users than those who occasionally or never smoked. Studies showed that about 37% in males and 17% in females with oral and pharyngeal cancers in the UK got it due to alcohol drinking.
People with existing conditions
Studies showed that the risk of mouth and other types of cancer is twice higher for people with HIV or AIDS. In addition, people with periodontal (gum) disease are 2.6 times at risk of head and mouth cancer. These conditions affect the immune system, lowering the body’s defences against cancerous cells.
A study showed that oral cancer is 70% higher in those whose relatives had a history of head and neck cancer. Researchers attributed the cause to shared lifestyle, genetics and environmental factors.
Oral cancer is not something you can ignore. Early detection and treatment are necessary to improve your chances of resisting or recovering from this disease. At Bounty Road Dental Practice, you can find out if you are at risk of oral cancer. We conduct thorough mouth cancer screening to help you prevent or cure this disease early. Click here for more information about our services.