14.11.2011

Mouth Cancer Action Month - screening in the city

Macmillan Nurse Specialists and Oral Health Promotion staff from the Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust are leading a team of Foundation Dentists to put on the sessions in community venues in Newcastle as part of Mouth Cancer Action Month.

Drinking alcohol to excess is one of the key risk factors of the cancer and can increase chances of developing the disease by up to 4 times.

The combination of tobacco and alcohol, which create a deadly cocktail, are also key in terms of triggers for developing the disease as alcohol also helps the absorptions of tobacco in to the mouth, meaning that those who smoke and drink excessively are up to 30 times more likely to develop mouth cancer.

Amanda Dear, Head and Neck Macmillan Specialist at the Freeman Hospital said: “Screening for mouth cancer is a simple and easy way for us to raise awareness about mouth cancer in the region. Early detection is known to transform survival chances from 50% to 90% with the disease, so we’re encouraging as many people as possible to come along.”

Amanda continued: “The screenings involve our team of Foundation Dentists looking for various symptoms within the mouth including mouth ulcers that haven’t healed, white or red patches, and any other unusual lumps or swellings. With the message for Mouth Cancer Action Month being ‘If in doubt, get checked out’, anyone who has any concerns about their oral health can come along and get screened or simply speak to the staff who will be available at the sessions.”
Dr Nigel Carter, Chief Executive of the British Dental Health Foundation said: “The lack of awareness towards a disease which has increased by more than 45 per cent since 1997 is truly alarming. Our message to everyone is ‘If in doubt, get checked out.’

“In the past mouth cancer was a disease which predominately affected males over 40 but this is no longer necessarily true. Changes in lifestyles amongst women and younger people and their attitudes towards drinking and smoking have meant that these groups are increasingly in danger.’

Along with alcohol and tobacco, a poor diet, chewing or smokeless tobacco and the Human Papilloma Virus (transmitted by oral sex) are also key triggers for developing the disease.

There are four screenings days available between 10am – 2pm at the following venues:

  • Monday 14th November – Newcastle College, Rye Hill Campus, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE4 7SA 
  • Tuesday 15th November– Chinese Centre, Westgate Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 4AG
  • Thursday 17th November– ASDA supermarket, Cowpen Road, Blyth, NE24 4LZ
  • Friday 18th November – Boots, Hotspur Way, Eldon Square, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 7DQ

For more information about Mouth Cancer Action Month, go to: www.mouthcancer.org/

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