Mouth Cancer Action Month

Mouth Cancer Action Month
04 Nov 2022

Mouth Cancer Action Month

Mouth Cancer Action Month is a charity campaign which aims to raise awareness of mouth cancer and make a difference by ensuring people get checked out early, dramatically increasing their chance of survival.

Each year mouth cancer takes the lives of over 2,000 people in the UK, which is more than are killed in accidents on the nation’s roads and last year over 8,700 people were diagnosed with the disease. Over the past decade the incident of people with mouth cancer has increased by a third and it is one of the few cancers where numbers diagnosed are expected to rise over the next few years.

Although there are a number of risk factors that will increase your chance of developing the disease, mouth cancer can affect anyone. This is why it is so important to know the signs to look out for.

Symptoms to get checked out

ulcersUlcers that do not heal – a broken area of skin or ulcer that does not heal within three weeks is one of the two most common symptoms of mouth cancer. They may not necessarily be painful.

Persistent discomfort or pain in your mouth – ongoing pain or discomfort in the mouth for which you cannot fix a specific cause is the other most common symptom of mouth cancer.

White or red patches in your mouth or throat – an abnormal looking patch in your mouth or throat can be a sign or cancer of precancerous changes in the cells. Areas of abnormal cells may look white or red. These patches are not cancer, but if left untreated can lead to cancer developing.

A white or red patch in the mouth can also be caused by fungal infections such as thrush. The white patches of thrush usually rub away to leave a sore red patch underneath. If this is the case your dentist will prescribe an anti-fungal treatment and if the patches go away, they are not related to cancer.

Difficulty Swallowing – Mouth cancer Difficulty SwallowingMouth cancer can cause pain or a burning sensation when chewing or swallowing food or you may feel that food is sticking in your throat. Difficulty swallowing can be associated with a number of different conditions and it is important that if you experience this that you get it checked out by a doctor or a dentist.

Speech Problems – Cancer in your mouth or throat can affect your voice. It may be quieter or sound like you have a cold. You may also have difficulty in pronouncing certain words.

A lump in the neck – you may find you have a lump in your neck caused by an enlarged lymph node. These can be caused by a number of different conditions. For example, a hot, red painful lump is often a sign of infection, lumps that come and go are also unlikely to be cancerous. Cancerous lumps will normally start small and grow over time.

Other symptoms – other symptoms can include but are not limited to a lump in the mouth or throat, unusual bleeding or numbness in the mouth, loose teeth for no apparent reason or difficulty moving the jaw.

Many of these symptoms can be related to other less serious conditions but it is important that if you experience any of the above that you get it checked out by your dentist or doctor.  Survival rates over 5 years for mouth cancer when caught early are very good reaching as high as 90% however this is drastically reduced to just 50% when the diagnosis is made late.

Mouth Cancer Action MonthSo, if in doubt get it checked out!

If you are worried or would like further information on mouth cancer and the risks please visit the Mouth Cancer Action Month website at or call Teeth and Smiles today on 020 7352 7049 to book a consultation where our team will be happy to help.