Saturday, 28 February 2015

Tariq Drabu on Alarming Increase in Mouth Cancer Cases

Mouth cancer has been increasing at an alarming rate over the past ten years to a point where more than two thousand people die of this disease in the United Kingdom each year.

There are a number of risk factors associated with this disease. These risk factors include smoking, excessive alcohol use, poor diet and the HPV virus. In fact it has been reported that nine in ten cases are linked to lifestyle choices.

Mouth cancer is a serious concern and I am worried that the people in the United Kingdom aren’t educated enough on the disease and what to look for. With over six thousand seven hundred new cases each year, this disease has increased by more than fifty per cent in the past ten years. This is something we need to be worried about and educate our patient on, ensuring they are aware of the dangers, the symptoms and signs and when to seek medical or dental assistance if they think something is wrong.

Another concern that I have is that the majority of mouth cancer cases are diagnosed at stage four. Stage four is the advanced stage of this disease. The disease has more fatalities a year than cervical and testicular cancer combined.

If we are able to catch the disease in the early stages, the survival rate increases significantly with the five year life expectancy increasing by almost ninety per cent. I do believe that patients who attend their routine dental appointments have an improved risk of the disease being caught early, so an effective treatment plan can be put in place to increase their survival rate.

I have always been a strong believer in education, which is why the team and I are always taking advantage of courses to expand our knowledge to provide better patient care at all times. Staying up to date with the latest dental trends and news can ensure our patients receive the highest level of patient care at all times.

Education can also improve the chances of mouth cancer being caught in the early stages. Educating the UK public and making them aware of what to look for can help increase their survival rate and ensure they get the right treatment within the shortest period of time.

Some of the signs and symptoms patients should be looking out for include, white or red patches in the mouth, a lump in the mouth, an ulcer that won’t heal and bleeding or numbness in the mouth. There is also pain when swallowing, chances to the voice and teeth loosening without any reason.