Two people die every week from mouth cancer
Wednesday 17th September 2014. Today is Mouth Cancer Awareness Day and members of the public, are being urged to avail of free mouth cancer examinations at over 500 dental surgeries all over the country and at Cork University Dental Hospital.
Three hundred cases of mouth cancer are detected in Ireland annually while approximately 100 people die from it every year. That means two Irish people are dying from this disease every week. This is the fifth year of the campaign to highlight mouth cancer and over the four awareness days to date 22 cases of mouth cancer have been diagnosed.
Dr Gillian Smith from the Irish Dental Association said the signs and symptoms of mouth cancer day include a sore or ulcer in the mouth that does not heal within 3 weeks.
“Other signs are white or red patches inside the mouth, a lump in the mouth or neck or a persistent sore throat or hoarseness. The cause of mouth cancer is not fully known but your risk is greater if you smoke or consume excess alcohol, especially spirits.
I would urge members of the public, especially those who may not have visited a dentist in a while to avail of an oral examination. It’s free and only takes five minutes. Early diagnosis of this disease greatly enhances the chances of successful treatment” Dr Smith said.
To find a list of participating dentists in your area log on to www.mouthcancerawareness.ie .
Mouth Cancer Awareness Day is a joint initiative by the Irish Dental Association, Irish Cancer Society, Dublin Dental University Hospital, Cork Dental University Hospital, the Dental Health Foundation and Mouth, Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Ireland.
For Further Information
Contact Kieran Garry
01/6650455 or 087/2368366
Note to Editor
Background to MCAD
Mouth Cancer Awareness Day was initiated by a group of mouth, head and neck cancer survivors in September 2010. On that occasion, over 3,000 people queued outside the Cork and Dublin Dental University Hospitals for a free mouth cancer examination. Since 2011 the Irish Dental Association has thrown its full support behind the initiative and will be doing so again this year. MCAD is a joint initiative by the Irish Dental Association, Irish Cancer Society, Dublin Dental University Hospital, Cork Dental University Hospital, the Dental Health Foundation and Mouth, Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Ireland.
Five tips to reduce your risk of mouth cancer
1. Check your mouth regularly. When brushing your teeth, watch for any unusual changes especially the signs and symptoms mentioned above.
2. Avoid the risk factors for mouth cancer especially the combination of smoking and heavy alcohol consumption.
3. Eat a healthy diet high in fruit and vegetables. A good diet rich in vitamins helps the body to protect itself from most types of cancer.
4. Use a lip balm with sun block if you spend a lot of time outdoors, in order to prevent lip cancer.
5. Visit a dentist regularly even if you wear dentures. A mouth cancer examination is part of a routine dental check up. If you cannot attend a participating dentist for a free examination on Wednesday September 17th, try to have your mouth checked once a year. Did you know that 80% of adults in Ireland are entitled to a free dental examination under the medical card or PRSI scheme?