Oral Screenings Provide Early Detection of Mouth Cancer

Mouth cancer refers to cancer that develops in any of the parts that make up the mouth. Mouth cancer can occur on the lips, gums, tongue, inside lining of the cheeks, and the roof and floor of the mouth.
 
Cancer that occurs on the inside of the mouth is sometimes called oral cancer or oral cavity cancer.
 
Mouth cancer is one of several types of cancer grouped in a category called head and neck cancers. Mouth cancer and other head and neck cancers are often treated similarly.
 
The most common symptoms of oral cancer include:
Swellings/thickenings, lumps or bumps, rough spots/crusts/or eroded areas on the lips, gums, or other areas inside the mouth.
The development of velvety white, red, or speckled (white and red) patches in the mouth.
Unexplained bleeding in the mouth.
Unexplained numbness, loss of feeling, or pain/tenderness in any area of the face, mouth, or neck.
Persistent sores on the face, neck, or mouth that bleed easily and do not heal within 2 weeks.
A soreness or feeling that something is caught in the back of the throat.
Difficulty chewing or swallowing, speaking, or moving the jaw or tongue.
Hoarseness, chronic sore throat, or change in voice.
Ear pain.
A change in the way your teeth or dentures fit together.
Dramatic weight loss.
 
Britain's leading oral health charity has called on the Government to act on research detailing how simple cost-effective screenings can provide the early detection so important in saving the lives of mouth cancer patients. 
 
The British Dental Health Foundation, organisers of the UK's annual Mouth Cancer Action Week, has urged the government to fund an NHS-led oral screening programme.
 
The charity's call follows a February 12th report published in the World Health Organisation (WHO) bulletin, which found visual oral screening an effective low- cost measure in preventing mouth cancer, which kills one person every five hours in the UK. 
 
The research, led by RTI International, showed how early detection of mouth cancer was near-doubled by routine visual screenings. 
 
Foundation chief executive Dr Nigel Carter BDS LDS (RCS) said: "This report confirms our message that prevention and early detection are key to curbing the effects of oral cancer. "Early detection leads to survival 9 in 10 mouth cancer patients. With nearly 5,000 people diagnosed each year in the UK, investment in NHS screening would be a real lifesaver." The new research studied 160,000 people in Southern India. Researchers found that targeting high-risk groups of alcohol and tobacco users during a nine-year screening programme cost as little as $6 per person. 
 
Early detection was achieved in 42% of cases where routine screening took place, almost twice the 24% ratio in cases not taking part in screening programmes.
 
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