People in The East of England unaware that mouth cancer screening should be routine
The Head and Neck Cancer Foundation (HNCF) is reminding people that they should ask their dentists to conduct mouth cancer screens at their next appointment.
This should be routinely included within the price of a dental check-up and should take no more than one minute.
Early detection is paramount to improving patient outcomes. These types of cancers can be extremely aggressive, disfiguring and life limiting.
Professor Mark McGurk, world-renowned surgeon and founder of HNCF said:
“We want everyone to be having a conversation about mouth cancers. By bringing routine mouth checks front-of-mind and putting it on the agenda – we will raise awareness, raise the number of early detections and reduce the number of people facing stage two and three mouth cancers.”
Michelle Vickers, ceo at The Head and Neck Cancer Foundation, said:
“We’ve introduced our Get Mouthy About Cancer campaign, because we all hear so often, and know how, to check our boobs or balls – but I bet the majority of people are unaware of what they’re looking for in their mouth!
“31 people are diagnosed with head and neck cancers each day in the UK – so it’s time to get talking about what to look for. We brush our teeth daily – just an extra 30-60 seconds to check oral health could save your life!”
To find out how to check watch HNCF’s video. Once you’ve seen this video you will know whether your dentist is checking your mouth, or not, and how to check yourself at home.
Technological and medical innovation for early detection
For those patients who do detect mouth cancer early, technological and medical innovation means that treatment can now be offered in a much less invasive manner, by using the Sentinel Node Biopsy technique (SNB).
SNB is an alternative, and less invasive treatment for dealing with head and neck cancers. The technology locates the nodes in the neck that will contain migrating cancer cells, so that these can be targeted and removed. This saves over 70% of patients with early disease a neck dissection. It spares vital glands and helps patients get back to a normal life more quickly, compared to traditional neck dissection techniques.
This practice, pioneered by Professor Mark McGurk, is the result of 15 years’ development and is based on the findings of nearly 500 cases.
HNCF works to educate and train both surgeons and nurses around the UK on this treatment.
Visit the charity’s new website at www.hncf.org.uk to find out more.