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LONDON, UK: A report released by the Oral Health Foundation has highlighted, among other things, that more than 8,300 people in the UK are diagnosed with mouth cancer each year. The report, launched as part of November’s Mouth Cancer Action Month initiative, found that this figure has increased by 49 per cent over the past decade and 135 per cent over the last 20 years.
The State of Mouth Cancer UK Report 2018/2019 looks at the latest statistics regarding mouth cancer in the UK, including incidence and survival rates. According to the report, the ten-year survival rate for mouth cancer in the UK is between 19 and 58 per cent, depending on where the cancer is located and how early it is diagnosed. Early diagnosis is particularly crucial, as this can boost the chances of survival from 50 to 90 per cent.
Another aspect of mouth cancer that the report delves into is general awareness of the disease. It stated that 88 per cent of British adults surveyed said that they had heard of mouth cancer, an increase of almost 45 per cent compared with a decade ago. However, this awareness did not translate into ability to self-examine for its presence, as 75 per cent reported not knowing the major signs and symptoms of the condition.
The ability to spot mouth cancer is far lower in men than in women, the report states. This is of particular concern given that more than two-thirds of all mouth cancer patients in the UK are male.
Improved access and investment in community dental services, increased public exposure, and better training for health professionals are all potential courses of action recommended in the report.
The State of Mouth Cancer UK Report 2018/2019 can be accessed here.