Oral health warning

Three signs your mouth ulcer is cancerous

One of the primary symptoms of mouth cancer relates to the ulcers in the mouth. If these are painful and do not heal within several weeks, it could be a sign of mouth cancer. Furthermore, lumps that are unexplained, persistent or do not go away, are also signs of the condition say the NHS. Unexplainable loose teeth or tooth sockets that don’t heal after extractions are other symptoms of mouth cancer. Mouth cancer is one of the least common cancers in the US or UK, but it’s essential to know the symptoms.  Additionally, a person with the disease may feel a persistent numbness on the lip or tongue. Occasionally, red, or white patches may appear on the lining of the tongue or mouth in patients with mouth cancer. Read more about variables that impact your oral health.

Person smiling and mouth.

The final symptom of mouth cancer is changes in a person’s speech, such as a lisp.

Other symptoms of mouth cancer include:
• Pain or difficulty swallowing
• Bleeding or numbness in the mouth
• Difficulty moving the jaw
• Changes in the voice.

Similarly to other cancers, there are different types of mouth cancer. Each form of mouth cancer is named after the cell that the cancer starts to grow in. The most common form of mouth cancer is squamous cell carcinoma. This type of cancer makes up 90 percent of mouth cancer cases.

Squamous cell carcinoma can be found in the skin as well as inside the mouth. Other types of mouth cancer include adenocarcinoma, sarcoma, oral malignant melanoma and lymphoma. Adenocarcinoma develops inside the salivary glands. Sarcoma is a cancer that develops out of abnormalities in bone, cartilage, muscle and other tissue.

Mouth cancer infographic.

Factors that increase a person’s risk of mouth cancer and oral health include:
• Smoking
• Chewing tobacco
• Drinking alcohol
• HPV virus infection
• Unhealthy diet
• Bad oral hygiene.

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NFL Hall of Fame QB and Oral Cancer

Jim Kelly’s health remains good after beating cancer

Bills Hall of Fame quarterback had a long battle with oral cancer that gave him a bleak prognosis and required multiple surgeries on his jaw, radiation and chemotherapy. But more than three years after announcing that the cancer was gone, Kelly says there’s been no recurrence and his health is now good.

While hosting his football camp in Buffalo and throwing passes to kids, Kelly spoke with his speech only mildly affected, and said he’s healthy.

Backstory

Original Article: March 6, 2018

Jim Kelly, the NFL Hall of Fame quarterback and former University of Miami football standout, announced Thursday that he will once again undergo treatment for oral cancer after recent testing indicated the cancer has returned.

Mr. Kelly, 58, was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma in his upper jaw in June 2013. At that time, doctors at Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo, N.Y., removed part of his upper jaw, part of the roof of his mouth and numerous teeth. He got a prosthesis to replace the teeth and bone that was removed during his surgery. Mr. Kelly, who graduated from UM in 1983, played for 11 seasons with the Buffalo Bills, leading the team to four Super Bowls.

Cancers of the oral cavity may involve bone, teeth, muscle, nerves, blood vessels, saliva glands and the inside lining of the lips and cheeks. The most common cancer of the oral cavity is squamous cell carcinoma, and it arises from the lining of the inside the mouth, the nose and the throat, according to the National Cancer Institute.

‘This can Happen to Anyone at Any Age’
“There’s a small percentage who have never smoked or drank alcohol who get cancer of the oral cavity,” says Geoffrey Young, M.D., Ph.D., FACS, chief of head and neck surgery at Miami Cancer Institute, who treats patients diagnosed with oral cancer but was not involved in Mr. Kelly’s case. “This can happen to anyone at any age so it’s always a good idea to get a yearly oral cancer screening from your dentist or primary care physician. Prevention is always better.”

Tobacco use and excessive alcohol are the main risk factors for this type of oral cancer. Mr. Kelly has said he never smoked cigarettes or chewed tobacco but smoked cigars occasionally. A small percentage of people (under 7 percent) get oral cancers from no identified cause, says the Oral Cancer Foundation. It is believed that these are likely related to some genetic predisposition, the Foundation says.

Dentists usually screen patients for oral cancer before performing regular cleanings or other procedures.  A primary care physician can also examine the oral cavity for sores or unusual growths. Before his initial diagnosis in 2013, Mr. Kelly said he suffered from pain in his jaw.

“If you have any sore or growth in the mouth that doesn’t heal within 30 days, then you should get it checked out by your dentist or primary care doctor,” Dr. Young said. “Initially, these sores may not even be painful.”

Mr. Kelly’s cancer has returned for the second time. Nine months after his first surgery in March 2014, Mr. Kelly announced the cancer had returned and aggressively spread to his brain, sinus cavity and adjacent tissues. He underwent months of treatment — including chemotherapy — that removed the cancerous cells. Before Thursday’s announcement, he had been believed to be free of cancer since September 2014. Since then, Mr. Kelly has taken part in Oral, Head & Neck Cancer Awareness campaigns, urging Americans to get screened.

Oral cancer is the largest group of the cancers that fall under the head and neck cancer category. Approximately 51,500 people in the U.S. will be newly diagnosed with oral cancer in 2018, projects the Oral Cancer Foundation. The foundation estimates that almost 10,000 people die from oral cancers every year, although not all of these cases are specifically cancers of the oral cavity.

The oral cavity includes the lips, the inside lining of the lips and cheeks (buccal mucosa), the teeth, the gums, the front two-thirds of the tongue, the floor of the mouth below the tongue and the bony roof of the mouth (hard palate). Oropharyngeal cancer starts in the oropharynx, which is the part of the throat just behind the mouth.

The human papillomavirus (HPV) has emerged in recent years as a possible leading cause of oropharyngeal (tonsil and base of tongue) cancers, particularly in non-smokers and younger age groups. Over half of tonsil and base of tongue cancers are linked to HPV. The U.S. Centers for Disease and Prevention (CDC) says that up to 70 percent of oropharyngeal cancers may be associated with HPV.

In a statement announcing that his cancer had returned, Mr. Kelly stated: “The oral cancer we hoped would be gone forever has returned. Although I was shocked and deeply saddened to receive this news, I know that God is with me. I continuously talk about the four F’s: Faith, Family, Friends and Fans. With all of you by my side, we will fight and win this battle together. Staying ‘Kelly Tough’ and trusting God will carry us through this difficult time.”

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Oral health warnings

Three signs your mouth ulcer is cancerous

One of the primary symptoms of mouth cancer relates to the ulcers in the mouth. If these are painful and do not heal within several weeks, it could be a sign of mouth cancer. Furthermore, lumps that are unexplained, persistent or do not go away, are also signs of the condition say the NHS. Unexplainable loose teeth or tooth sockets that don’t heal after extractions are other symptoms of mouth cancer. Mouth cancer is one of the least common cancers in the US or UK, but it’s essential to know the symptoms.  Additionally, a person with the disease may feel a persistent numbness on the lip or tongue. Occasionally, red, or white patches may appear on the lining of the tongue or mouth in patients with mouth cancer. Read more about variables that impact your oral health.

Person smiling and mouth.

The final symptom of mouth cancer is changes in a person’s speech, such as a lisp.

Other symptoms of mouth cancer include:
• Pain or difficulty swallowing
• Bleeding or numbness in the mouth
• Difficulty moving the jaw
• Changes in the voice.

Similarly to other cancers, there are different types of mouth cancer. Each form of mouth cancer is named after the cell that the cancer starts to grow in. The most common form of mouth cancer is squamous cell carcinoma. This type of cancer makes up 90 percent of mouth cancer cases.

Squamous cell carcinoma can be found in the skin as well as inside the mouth. Other types of mouth cancer include adenocarcinoma, sarcoma, oral malignant melanoma and lymphoma. Adenocarcinoma develops inside the salivary glands. Sarcoma is a cancer that develops out of abnormalities in bone, cartilage, muscle and other tissue.

Mouth cancer infographic.

Factors that increase a person’s risk of mouth cancer and oral health include:
• Smoking
• Chewing tobacco
• Drinking alcohol
• HPV virus infection
• Unhealthy diet
• Bad oral hygiene.

Original Article

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Mouth Cancer Charter to raise awareness in rise of oral cancer

Mouth cancer charterSeb Evans reports back from the Oral Cancer Action Charter signing at the Palace of Westminster last month. Leading figures from dentistry along with MPs all joined to sign the latest Mouth Cancer Action Charter towards the end of 2021. The charter challenges the government on six key actions:

  • Conduct a government-funded public health awareness campaign on mouth cancer
  • Improve access to routine dentistry for earlier detection of mouth cancer
  • Enable enhanced training of GPs
  • Improve training programmes for healthcare staff to spot mouth cancer
  • Introduce free check-ups and treatment for mouth cancer patients
  • Support the development of better technology to diagnose mouth cancers.

The campaign also encourages patients to become more self-aware. The aim is for patients to check their mouths themselves in front of the mirror once a week.

Focusing on mouth cancer

‘With this event here today, we’re trying to raise up the politician and policy maker’s agenda the importance of mouth cancer and the impact it has,’ Nigel Carter, chief executive of the Mouth Cancer Foundation, said.

‘We’re trying to get more investment in mouth cancer. It would be great to have some central investment to have an awareness campaign.

‘Access is getting worse rather than better, even without Covid. That’s a real challenge. 

‘It is as a cancer that has so much impact on people’s lives, 50% of the people diagnosed with mouth cancer never return to work. The impact on people’s lives, their lifestyle, their quality of life is immense.

‘And survival rates just haven’t improved over the last 30 years, whereas if you look at most other cancers, they’ve improved. Mouth cancer’s five-year survival rates have remained flat and cases have doubled.

‘It really is something that needs focusing on more.’

‘Don’t just look at the teeth’

‘From the dentists’ point of view, they’ve got to remember to look at the patient’s mouth,’ Sir Paul Beresford MP said.

‘Don’t just look at the teeth, look all the way around. Patients can be aware of this and if the dentist doesn’t actually look and tell the patient they’ve had a good look round, there could be difficulties.

‘Over my career I’ve probably seen 12/15 cases of oral cancer. Because I’ve managed to get them all early, only one of those patients actually died of cancer. And that was only because the patient wouldn’t attend to see the oral surgeon. 

‘Mouth cancer rates are rising, firstly because the HPV vaccination hasn’t cut in due to the age. Secondly, it’s an increase in detection and the third thing is patients aren’t going to the dentist. Finally, general awareness is low. If we can increase awareness, people can look for it themselves. If they find something suspicious, see the dentist.

‘The treatment, if it’s beyond very early stages, is drastic and very unpleasant.

‘The Mouth Cancer Foundation is really helping make a change with patient’s awareness.’  

Original Article

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Mouth Cancer Charter to raise awareness in rise of oral cancer

Mouth cancer charterSeb Evans reports back from the Oral Cancer Action Charter signing at the Palace of Westminster last month. Leading figures from dentistry along with MPs all joined to sign the latest Mouth Cancer Action Charter towards the end of 2021. The charter challenges the government on six key actions:

  • Conduct a government-funded public health awareness campaign on mouth cancer
  • Improve access to routine dentistry for earlier detection of mouth cancer
  • Enable enhanced training of GPs
  • Improve training programmes for healthcare staff to spot mouth cancer
  • Introduce free check-ups and treatment for mouth cancer patients
  • Support the development of better technology to diagnose mouth cancers.

The campaign also encourages patients to become more self-aware. The aim is for patients to check their mouths themselves in front of the mirror once a week.

Focusing on mouth cancer

‘With this event here today, we’re trying to raise up the politician and policy maker’s agenda the importance of mouth cancer and the impact it has,’ Nigel Carter, chief executive of the Mouth Cancer Foundation, said.

‘We’re trying to get more investment in mouth cancer. It would be great to have some central investment to have an awareness campaign.

‘Access is getting worse rather than better, even without Covid. That’s a real challenge. 

‘It is as a cancer that has so much impact on people’s lives, 50% of the people diagnosed with mouth cancer never return to work. The impact on people’s lives, their lifestyle, their quality of life is immense.

‘And survival rates just haven’t improved over the last 30 years, whereas if you look at most other cancers, they’ve improved. Mouth cancer’s five-year survival rates have remained flat and cases have doubled.

‘It really is something that needs focusing on more.’

‘Don’t just look at the teeth’

‘From the dentists’ point of view, they’ve got to remember to look at the patient’s mouth,’ Sir Paul Beresford MP said.

‘Don’t just look at the teeth, look all the way around. Patients can be aware of this and if the dentist doesn’t actually look and tell the patient they’ve had a good look round, there could be difficulties.

‘Over my career I’ve probably seen 12/15 cases of oral cancer. Because I’ve managed to get them all early, only one of those patients actually died of cancer. And that was only because the patient wouldn’t attend to see the oral surgeon. 

‘Mouth cancer rates are rising, firstly because the HPV vaccination hasn’t cut in due to the age. Secondly, it’s an increase in detection and the third thing is patients aren’t going to the dentist. Finally, general awareness is low. If we can increase awareness, people can look for it themselves. If they find something suspicious, see the dentist.

‘The treatment, if it’s beyond very early stages, is drastic and very unpleasant.

‘The Mouth Cancer Foundation is really helping make a change with patient’s awareness.’  

Original Article

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