As part of Mouth Cancer Action Month (1st - 30th November),
shoppers in Darlington are being invited to have a free oral check
up to raise awareness of mouth cancer and improve early
Over the past 10 years the number of mouth cancer cases has
doubled. Nearly 8,000 cases were diagnosed in 2011. Early diagnosis
can improve survival chances by 90%.
The Oral Health Team at County Durham and Darlington NHS
Foundation Trust is running a free screening event in Darlington
market square on Thursday 14 November.
Members of the team will be available between 10am and 3.30pm to
offer free checks and provide information about the signs and
symptoms of mouth cancer.
Julie King, Oral Health Promotion Lead, County Durham and
Darlington NHS Foundation Trust said: "Early detection of mouth
cancer can transform the 50% survival rate into an increase of 90%.
Educating as many people within our community as possible about the
risk factors, as well as the early warning signs, shall help us win
the fight against mouth cancer in the long run."
Smokers and regular drinkers are at greatest risk of head and
However, better awareness and early detection saves lives.
Symptoms to watch out for include:
• Pain of discomfort in the throat
• An ulcer on the tongue or another part of the mouth
• A lump or white patch in the mouth
• Painful or difficult swallowing
• A lump in the neck
Giving up smoking, reducing alcohol and eating a health diet can
help reduce the risk of mouth cancer. Smoking helps to transforms
saliva into a deadly cocktail that damages cells in the mouth and
can turn them cancerous while drinking alcohol regularly can
increase your risk of developing head and neck cancer. Drinking to
excess can increase mouth cancer risks by four times. Alcohol aids
the absorption of tobacco into the mouth, those who smoke and drink
to excess are up to 30 times more likely to develop the
Eating five portions of fruit and vegetables a day can help
prevent cancers. Around half of cases are thought to be linked to
an unhealthy diet. It is recommended that people eat a healthy,
balanced diet high in anti-oxidants including five portions of
fruit and vegetables each day. Increasing evidence also suggests
that Omega 3, found in foods such as eggs and fish can help lower
risks, as can foods high in fibre such as nuts, seeds, whole-wheat
pasta and brown rice.
Regular dental visits are also recommended.
Published: 30 October 2013
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