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Cricket fans to be offered free oral health checks

Lords, the UK’s most famous cricket ground, is set to see a brand new oral healthcare event come to the Royal London One-Day Cup Final on September 20th. While the fielders are catching the batsmen out, dentists will be catching signs of oral cancer and other dental health problems as part of Boundaries for Life.

Healthcare professionals will be on hand to provide cricket fans with a variety of free tests. Dentists will be performing mouth examinations, looking for signs of oral cancer and other potentially dangerous conditions. Blood pressure, body mass index (BMI) and cholesterol tests will also be performed.

At the end of the experience, visitors will receive lifestyle advice to help them avoid any health problems in the future. So, why have Boundaries for Life chosen cricket as the perfect occasion to help improve people’s oral health? As it turns out, fans of the sport are at high risk of the disease.

Many people in south Asian communities are fans of cricket, and these communities also see higher rates of oral cancer. Part of this is due to the prevalence of chewing tobacco and other similar substances among south Asians, which is one of the causes of the disease. However, ethnicity is not the only thing cricket and cancer have in common.

“Mouth cancer cases are still most commonly found in men over the age of 45, which has traditionally been the blueprint of a cricket fan,” said Dr Chet Trivedy, co-ordinator of Boundaries for Life.

“Research suggests men are less likely to head to the dentist or their GP with a problem than their female counterparts,” he added. “This is a problem, particularly for mouth cancer. I would encourage all fans attending the game to pop down and get a completely free health MOT. It could save your life.”

Targeting specific demographics like this could be the answer to reducing the rate of oral cancer. General messages about raising awareness are not getting through to people as well as hoped, so it is clear that a new approach is to be necessary in order to tackle this disease head on.

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