Guest blog by Henry Clover, Deputy Chief Dental Officer at Denplan, the UK’s leading dental payment plan specialist and sponsors of Mouth Cancer Action Month.
It’s estimated that 7,500 people will be diagnosed with mouth cancer this year. Without early detection half will die.
Dentists are in a unique position to spot early signs and symptoms of this disease, which is why Denplan has supported the British Dental Health Foundation’s Mouth Cancer Action Month campaign, held in November, for more than 12 years.
Well over half the population received a dental consultation in the last two years. However, our recent survey has shown that sadly 60 per cent of people don’t know their dentist can check them for mouth cancer at their dental examination1.
As part of the examination dentists perform a pain-free careful check for potentially significant signs, like unusual lumps, red and white patches in the mouth and other possible signs of the disease.
Over the past 20 years the dental profession has rallied to help promote awareness of mouth cancer and Denplan dentists in particular have been among the first to offer free oral cancer screenings to the public.
The British Dental Health Foundation’s campaign is vital, as it raises awareness of mouth cancer, which is still such an unknown and unspoken about cancer. The disease kills more people than cervical cancer and testicular cancer combined and early detection of mouth cancer can increase the five year survival rate from just 50 per cent to up to 90 per cent.
To find out more about Mouth Cancer Action Month, and to find a free mouth cancer screening at a dental practice near you, visit www.mouthcancer.org.
1 British Dental Health survey, September 2013, conducted by OnePoll