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Mouth cancer ‘is a hidden killer’

Posted by Allie Wright

A leading dental specialist has described mouth cancer as a hidden killer, but stressed the fact that it can be treated easily if it is caught early enough in its development.

Dental marketing campaigns may need to stress the importance of knowing the symptoms of mouth cancer in order to mark a new drive to raise awareness of the disease.

Dr Nigel Carter, chief executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, stated people do not think about the fact they could get cancer in their mouths.

It was noted by the expert that mouth cancer is the fastest growing cancer in the UK and there has been an increase of 41 per cent in the rate of mouth cancer over the last decade, which was described by the specialist as a “huge” rise.

“This is where campaigns like the Mouth Cancer Action Month campaign helps to make people more aware of the risk factors and the symptoms of mouth cancer so that we can encourage early diagnosis,” he said, with this event set to run throughout the month of November.

Dr Carter also pointed out that survival rates for mouth cancer have improved over the last 35 years, but it is still the case that around half of those who are diagnosed with the disease are not going to survive it.

He said: “We can improve that survival rate right up to 90 per cent by catching these things early. If in doubt, check it out.”

Some 6,000 individuals in the UK are going to be diagnosed with mouth cancer in 2012 and the aim of the Mouth Cancer Action Month campaign is to get people to be aware of the signs they may be suffering from the disease.

It is claimed by the British Dental Health Federation that all around the world, over 460,000 people are expected to die from mouth cancer each year by 2030.

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