When we hear the phrase ‘cancer awareness’ our brains usually go to adverts reminding us to check our testicles and breasts. Whilst those two versions of cancer most certainly need awareness, there is a prevalent and lethal form of cancer which we regularly ignore. Why this happens is rather transparent, breast cancer and testicular cancer are both insulated with flawless marketing campaigns. For us, it feels rather sordid for people to risk death due to poor marketing, so we’re taking time today to highlight the importance of mouth cancer awareness.
Mouth cancer, arguably the least popular member of the cancer family, is also perhaps the meanest. But as said earlier, it isn’t the sadistic tendencies of these cancers that get them noticed, it’s the adverts. Which is a rather harrowing fact, but nonetheless expected in our advert-driven culture.
Today we’re listing the stats and facts of mouth cancer, the causes, and also showing a couple of posters which illustrate the symptoms and how to check for mouth cancer.
One in seven have mouth cancer
That’s right, one in seven. Stifling, isn’t it? On a football pitch, with people of all ages, per average, there should be three people suffering from mouth cancer. Which would make very bad colour commentary, but really does illustrate how omnipresent the disease is.
Someone is diagnosed with mouth cancer every 69 minutes
In that conceptual game of football, where 3 players are already suffering from mouth cancer – within the stats of this disease – it’s totally feasible to say that another player will be diagnosed in the 54th minute (taking 15 minutes away for halftime).
Whilst it would be the most unorthodox, harrowing football game in the history of time, it’s totally possible. Thus the need to take this form of cancer very seriously.
The rate of which diagnosis has increased in the last decade is ⅓
The disease is getting more coverage, and yet 21% of the population still state they aren’t aware of mouth cancer. Say this hypothetical football match took place at Manchester United’s Old Trafford and the game achieved Man United’s average attendance (75,290), 15,810 people wouldn’t have any knowledge about the on-pitch commotion.
These football hypotheticals may seem playful when they’re regarding a far-from-playful notion, but we’re simply utilising them to illustrate the starkness of this disease, and in turn, our ignorance of it.
Mouth cancer – in the UK – takes more lives than testicular and cervical cancer combined
As we said, sadistic. This form of cancer takes no prisoners, but this stat is perhaps only this high as the awareness of the cancer is so low. People don’t know how to check for it. People don’t know the causes. People don’t know the symptoms. People quite simply don’t know, and that is the biggest worry.
There is a possibility of mouth cancer affecting everyone, but there are a few lifestyle choices which heighten your chance of infection. You are more likely to get mouth cancer if you:
- Smoke: tobacco changes the countenance of saliva, resultantly making your mouth a stewing pot for mouth cancer. The cancer is implored to develop and grow due to the making of your cells cancerous.
- Drink alcohol: more than a third of male cases are linked to excessive alcohol consumption. A fifth of female cases are related to the same issue. If you heavily drink and smoke, which unfortunately a large amount of our country do, you are 35 times more likely to get mouth cancer. 35!
- Have contracted HPV: whilst HPV isn’t a lifestyle choice, the disease has a strong correlation with mouth cancer. Experts have suggested that HPV can rival smoking and drinking as a main
cause. Stay protected.
- Aren’t eating as well as you could: people who eat a healthy diet revolving around fruit and vegetables have significantly less chance of contracting mouth cancer. Eat well, be healthy. Simple.
- Chew tobacco: there is a myth that chewing tobacco is healthier than smoking. This isn’t true. It, in fact, is much, much worse. Chewing tobacco is far from natural; it has been known to be made with slaked lime, flavourings, and sweeteners. This isn’t good for mouth cancer prevention.
Mouth cancer is only predicted to grow. Which – paired with all the aforementioned information – should be enough for us to take a stand against mouth cancer. We need to spread awareness of the disease and increase knowledge on how to check for it. You can make sure you’re safe with regular dental treatments.
At Widcombe Dental Practice we’re purely interested in the oral wellbeing of our customers. If our article today has nerved you in any way, come in for a check-up. We’ll soothe your qualms with a quick survey of your mouth. Contact us now to book your appointment (01225 317 681)