Mouth Cancer Action Month
Free mouth cancer screening is being offered at Warrington Hospital on Wednesday 15th November, as part of our continued support of Mouth Cancer Action Month.
Mouth Cancer Action Month is an initiative run by the Oral Health Foundation, which takes place in November each year, and has done since 2009. It aims to raise awareness of the issues surrounding the condition and also the symptoms that people should look for.
The symptoms to look out for are:
- A feeling that something is caught in your throat
- A numbness of the tongue or other area of the mouth
- A chronic sore throat or hoarseness that persist more than six weeks
- An ulcer or white or red patch anywhere in the mouth that does not heal within 3 weeks
- A lump or swelling anywhere in the mouth, jaw or neck that persist for more than 3 weeks
- A difficult in swallowing, chewing or moving the jaw or tongue
- An unexplained loosening of teeth with no dental cause
If in doubt pop along and get it checked out!
For our part, WHH’s dedicated Maxillofacial Team will be offering free Mouth Cancer screening on Wednesday 15th November for our local community. No appointment is necessary; you just simply need to present yourself at the department, located in the Appleton Wing of Warrington Hospital, to make use of this free service. It will run from 9am – 12pm and 1pm – 4.30pm.
We are also pleased to offer free parking to anyone wishing to attend the drop-in clinic. Simply hand in your registration number to a member of the Maxillofacial Team when you attend and they will do the rest.
The importance of this initiative cannot be understated. Latest figures, from 2011 showed that there were 6,767 people diagnosed with mouth cancer in the UK. That is 18 people per day, with one person diagnosed every 77 minutes. Cases of the disease have increased by a third in the last decade and mouth cancer is one of the few cancers where instances are expected to continue to increase in the coming years.
It is important that people play their part in combating this disease by recognising the signs and symptoms of the condition. Risk factors for mouth cancer include smoking and excess alcohol consumption. Another is HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) which is transmitted by oral sex. It is crucially important that people make regular visits to their dentist, who, as part of their examinations will screen people for mouth cancer.
Hospital Practitioner Maxillofacial Surgery, Stephen Porter, said, “We would encourage patients to not be frightened or worried about seeking advice and are happy to see anybody who may have any concerns. Symptoms to look out for are ulcers that do not heal within a couple of weeks, or unusual lumps or swellings or any red or white patches that do not look normal.”