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If in doubt, get checked out - raising awareness of mouth cancer

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Earlier this month it was World Cancer Day, an international day to raise worldwide awareness of cancer and to encourage its prevention, detection and treatment. Sadly, cancer touches most of us in some way, either by knowing someone, or being someone, who is having to deal with the consequences of this disease.

Although great strides have been made in the detection and treatment of common cancers in recent decades, mouth cancer, also known as oral cancer, is possibly one type of cancer you might not know much about, but it’s something the dental profession is all too aware of. This disease claims more lives than cervical and testicular cancer combined and worryingly over 8,300 of people in the UK are diagnosed with mouth cancer each year, and that number is rising.

The signs to look out for

Mouth cancer is where a tumour develops in a part of the mouth. This includes the tongue, lips, gums and the inside of the cheeks.

The signs and symptoms to look out for include:

  • painful mouth ulcers that do not heal within three weeks
  • red or white patches on the lining of the mouth or tongue
  • unexplained lumps or swellings in the mouth or neck area
If you spot any of these common symptoms, speak to your dentist or doctor straight away.

What are the causes?

Things that increase the risk of mouth cancer include:

  • smoking or using tobacco in other ways, such as chewing tobacco
  • excessive alcohol consumption
  • infection with the human papilloma virus (HPV)

How can we prevent mouth cancer?

The three most effective ways are:

  • stopping smoking or using tobacco
  • ensuring you do not drink more than the recommended weekly guideline for alcohol
  • eating a balanced, healthy diet including fresh vegetables (especially tomatoes), citrus fruits, olive oil and fish

We're here to help

At Ringley Park Dental Practice we are determined to raise the awareness of mouth cancer amongst our patients. Our clinical team is trained to spot the symptoms of mouth cancer and we are more than happy to see anyone with any concerns at any time. Screening for mouth cancer only takes a few minutes, it’s non-invasive and we’ve now made it an integral part of routine check-ups for every patient.

Don’t be afraid of mouth cancer, just be aware of the causes and symptoms. If you’re worried about any unusual changes in your mouth make an appointment with us straight away to get yourself checked out and put your mind at ease.


Ringley Park Dental Practice
59 Reigate Road
Surrey, RH2 0QZ


Mon: 8:00am-7:30pm
Tue-Fri: 8:00am-5:30pm
Other appointments may be available by prior arrangement


Phone: 01737 240123
Email: info@ringleypark.org
Emergency appointments available


For your convenience we offer patients the ability to book appointments online.

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