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Dentist offers patients free oral cancer screening

Perfect 32

A Yorkshire dental practice is offering free mouth cancer checks to its patients for five days in November to mark Mouth Cancer Awareness Week

Perfect 32 is helping to raise awareness of the initiative in east Yorkshire by offering the oral cancer screening from Monday 12 November to Friday 16 November using the advanced oral cancer screening system, the Velscope).

The practice will also be giving away specially designed information packs highlighting the warning signs and prevention of mouth cancer.

In the UK, mouth cancer is diagnosed in more than 5,000 people annually and kills almost 2,000 people each year – that’s one death every five hours. It is now 3 times more prevalent than cervical cancer for which there is a government initiative.

The campaign is focused on raising public awareness of mouth cancer with the ultimate goal of saving lives through early detection.

The public are urged to visit their dentist for oral screening, which is why Perfect 32’s practice manager, Nicki Rowland, feels compelled to offer free screenings for mouth cancer – for the fifth year running - at the practice in 8 Ladygate, Beverley.

Professional check-ups and regular self-examinations are the best route to early detection of mouth cancer. Early diagnosis saves lives, improving survival chances from just 50% to more than 90%.

Early warning signs include ulcers that do not heal within three weeks, red and white patches in the mouth, lumps in the neck and

Perfect 32 hopes the special screening day and packs, which will be available to patients and non-patients alike, will encourage people to learn more about the disease and visit their dentist regularly for examinations.

Nicki Rowland said: ‘Last year, we screened 54 people completely free of charge in one day. This year we are offering free screening for a full week because we want to encourage as many people as possible to be screened. We want to invite any one over the age of 16 to come in particularly if they smoke, drink, are sexually active and have a poor diet or are exposed to any combination of these predisposing factors. Hopefully by raising awareness of this terrible disease we will encourage more people to self-check and visit their dentist for the regular examinations that could save their life.’

‘We are encouraging people at our free mouth cancer screening to take a handful of our mouth cancer information packs away with them to share with their friends. The cards will also be available in reception throughout November.’

Dr Vinod Joshi, Founder of The Mouth Cancer Foundation, said: 'We are delighted that Perfect 32 has joined the many dental practices, schools, health professionals and community groups promoting Mouth Cancer Awareness Week.'

“Three-quarters of cases are linked to tobacco and alcohol so it is important that smokers are encouraged to quit and alcohol is drunk in moderation.

'The human papilloma virus (HPV), transmitted via oral sex, and poor diets is also linked to mouth cancer. Worryingly the disease is also now affecting a much younger group of people and many more who display none of the traditional risk factors.

'Yet early diagnosis can really make the difference so make sure you visit a dentist regularly and check your mouth as often as possible, it could just save your life.'

Booking is essential for the free mouth cancer screening at Perfect 32. Patients must call 01482 863 667 to reserve a space. For more information on mouth cancer visit www.mouthcancerfoundation.org.

 

 

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Well done to all at Perfect 32. It is great to see more and more Dental Practices playing an active role in promoting greater public awareness of mouth cancer. In Ireland, over 700 GDP recently participated in our Annual National Mouth Cancer Awareness Day on September 19th. Over the past three years, over 14,000 people have attended these screening events. While all who attended went away with increased awareness of the risk factors, signs and symptoms associated with Head and Neck Cancer, for some it was a life-changing experience as over 20 cancerous lesions were detected along with a considerable number of premalignant lesions. As Chair of Mouth Head & Neck Cancer Awareness Ireland, I urge everyone to discuss Mouth Head and Neck Cancer with your patients, let them know that you conduct a thorough HNC soft tissue examination as part of your routine dental check-up procedure and engage patients in discussions on how they can reduce their risk of HNC by behaviour modification. Further information available on www.mouthcancerawareness.ie Dr Eleanor O'Sullivan
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