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Mouth cancer checks in shopping centre

Experts in head and neck cancer are inviting Northampton shoppers for a free mouth cancer check-up as part of Mouth Cancer Action Month .

Northampton General Hospital's head and neck cancer team will be in the town’s Grosvenor Shopping Centre on Saturday to raise awareness of the symptoms of mouth cancer and the importance of early detection. 

Mouth Cancer Action Month is a charity campaign which aims to raise awareness of mouth cancer and make a difference by saving thousands of lives through early detection and prevention.

Mouth cancer takes the lives of more than 2,000 people each year in the UK, which is more than testicular and cervical cancer combined.

In the UK, more than 6,700 people were diagnosed with mouth cancer last year. The disease has grown by a third in the last decade – and remains one of very few cancers which are predicted to increase further in the coming years.

Although there are risk factors heavily linked to the disease, mouth cancer can affect anybody – that’s why it’s so important that we all know what to look out for. The campaign is all about taking action. Don’t leave that ulcer unattended for more than three weeks. Don’t ignore that unusual lump or swelling or red and white patches in your mouth. Early detection could save your life.

The head and neck cancer team will be based in the Green Room on the first floor of the Grosvenor Centre from 10am to 2pm on Saturday 14 November.

Facts and figures:

  • Latest figures show that in 2011, there were 6,767 people diagnosed with mouth cancer in the UK
  • That’s 18 people every day – one person diagnosed every 77 minutes
  • Mouth cancer cases have increased by a third in the last decade and it is one of few cancers that experts predict will continue to increase in the coming years
  • Cancer of the tongue and oral cavity are the most common forms of mouth cancer, followed then by the throat.  Lip, neck and other mouth cancers make up the rest of cases
  • Most cases of mouth cancer are linked to tobacco and alcohol. 
  • Cigarette, cigar and pipe smoking are the main forms of tobacco use in the UK. However, chewing tobacco, betel quid, gutkha and paan are particularly dangerous.
  • Alcohol increases the risk of mouth cancer, and if tobacco and alcohol are consumed together the risk is even greater.
  • Many recent reports have linked mouth cancer to the human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV is the major cause of cervical cancer and is now linked to other areas of the body; sexually active adults have 75 per cent chance of acquiring HPV during their lifetime. You may never know you are infected as there are no symptoms and the body usually successfully fights it off but it can change into a cancer within the oral cavity.   Practicing safe sex and limiting the number of partners you have may help reduce your chances of contracting HPV. Research now suggests that it could soon rival smoking and drinking as one of the main causes of mouth cancer
For more information about mouth cancer, visit the Mouth Cancer Action Month website
Posted on Thursday 12th November 2015
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