Mouth Cancer Action Month

Mouth Cancer Action Month

Month – 1ST NOVEMBER 2021 TO 30TH NOVEMBER 2021

 Mouth Cancer Facts

  • Around 2,702 people in the United Kingdom lose their life to mouth cancer every year.  That’s 7 people every day.
  • Mouth cancer is the 17th most common cause of cancer death in the UK, accounting for around 2% of all cancer’s deaths.
  • In the last decade, cases have risen by 58% in the UK.  Rates of mouth cancer has increased by an astonishing 97% over the last 20 years
  • Sadly, the number of people losing their life to mouth cancer has also grown. The latest research says that deaths from mouth cancer have increased by 48% compared with ten years’ ago.
  • Men are far more likely to die from mouth cancer than women. Men account for 69% of mouth cancer deaths compared to only 31% for women.
  • The deadliest mouth cancer is cancer of the tongue, accounting for over a quarter (29%) of all mouth cancer deaths last year.
  • Deaths from mouth cancer are heavily linked to the stage of diagnosis.
  • Mouth cancer referrals have fallen by 65% since the beginning of lockdown according to one of England’s biggest NHS Trusts

What are the Risk Factors For Mouth Cancer?



  • Around two thirds of mouth cancers are linked to smoking.
  • The risk of being diagnosed with mouth cancer for a smoker is almost double (91%) that of a never-smoker.
  • Mouth cancer risk is 35% lower in ex-smokers who quit 1-4 years previously, compared with current smokers.
  • Mouth cancer risk is no higher in ex-smokers who quit 20+ years previously, compared with never-smokers.



Smokeless tobacco

  • Mouth cancer risk is up to 4.5 times higher in smokeless tobacco users.

Vaping and E-cigarettes

There is a lack of evidence linking electronic cigarettes to oral cancer. Currently the view is that they are less harmful than conventional cigarettes. However the liquids often contain nicotine and a number of other harmful chemicals that are heated up in the mouth.  If you don’t smoke, then do not start vaping. If you are currently a smoker, vaping may help to reduce your dependency, but they are not risk-free.


  • Those who drink more than 10 units of alcohol a week could be increasing the risk of mouth cancer by 81%.
  • Drinking alcohol to excess is linked to around a third of all mouth cancers.
  • Smoking & drinking to excess, can triple your risk of developing mouth cancer.

Humanpapillomavirus (HPV)

  • The human papillomavirus (HPV) type-16 and 18 are linked to around three quarters of oropharyngeal cancers.

Poor Diet

Poor diet is linked to a third of all mouth cancers

Family history

  • Mouth cancer risk could be up to 70% higher in people with a family (particularly sibling) history of mouth cancer, versus those without such history, a pooled analysis showed.

Key to survival


Spotting mouth cancer early is crucial for beating the disease. Early detection boosts our chances of survival from 50% to 90%.

How to spot Mouth Cancer?

Mouth cancer can appear in the mouth lips head and neck as well as tonsils and throat

A mouth cancer check can be done at home and it takes less than 2 minutes.

It is a good idea to get into the habit of regularly checking yourself for the early signs of mouth cancer, especially in the time between dental visits.  Take the time to perform a self check for mouth cancer every month

What to look out for?

  • Ulcers that do not heal within 3 weeks
  • Unusual Lumps or swellings
  • Red and white patches in the mouth
  • Bleeding from the mouth or throat
  • Persistent hoarseness or changes to the voice
  • Numbness or tingling of the lips or tongue
  • Dentures suddenly not fitting properly


How  else can mouth cancer be spotted early?

Mouth cancer is often spotted by your dentist or hygienist who are best placed to check for early signs of the disease. This happens during your routine examination.

Here at Perio & Implant Dental Referral  we very much acknowledge the risk of mouth cancer and it forms an important part of your oral care. All patients receive a thorough oral cancer screening at every assessment appointment. If we have any concerns we will immediately discuss them with you and refer you through the expedient channels.

The clinical team will also help identify risks factors for developing cancer or identifying precancerous conditions that need to be monitored or managed

For more information please see:-


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