Mouth Cancer Foundation encourages the public to watch out for warning signs

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The Mouth Cancer Foundation is encouraging the public to watch out for early warning signs of oral cancer.

The charity is urging people to be mouth aware and to seek advice from their GP or dentist if they have concerns. Mouth cancer causes more than 4,000 deaths per year in the UK but studies suggest that many people are unaware of the symptoms, which leads to late diagnosis. Early diagnosis can increase survival rates by up to 90%.

Dentists look for signs of mouth cancer during routine check-ups, but the Mouth Cancer Foundation is on a mission to improve awareness and encourage people to check their mouths at home to increase survival rates. It is difficult to get a routine appointment at the moment, and there are fears that access issues could lead to an increase in the number of cases of mouth cancer diagnosed at a late stage.

Symptoms of mouth cancer include slow-healing mouth sores and ulcers, difficulty swallowing, persistent hoarseness, red or white patches in the mouth and lumps and abnormal swelling in the mouth and throat.

In most cases, these symptoms don’t turn out to be oral cancer, but the charity is keen to educate the public so that people know what to look out for. If symptoms last for longer than 2 weeks, seeing a doctor or a dentist could make all the difference.

Rates of mouth cancer in the UK have increased by over 50% in the last decade.

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