Almost three quarters of Brits don’t believe their dentist regularly checks for oral cancer or are unaware they’re doing it.
The Head and Neck Cancer Foundation (HNCF) asked how often Brits have routine check-ups and if they receive oral cancer screening.
Despite 38% claiming to attend every six months, the majority believe they’re missing out on oral cancer checks.
‘As a nation we are regrettably unaware that our dentists can play a huge role in oral cancer detection and be routinely screening for signs of mouth cancer during check ups,’ Michelle Vickers, CEO at The Head and Neck Cancer Foundation, said.
‘Dentists are taught to do this as part of their standard oral check-up process.
‘If people were screened they would know.
‘The tongue is held to either side of the mouth and the dentist is likely to follow the gums for signs of abnormal growth.
‘We are asking everyone to ask their dentist for a routine screen the next time they visit.
‘It’s really that simple.’
Dental check ups
A third of Brits claim they have a dental check up every two years and 13% say the never attend.
A quarter of Brits visit the dentist on an annual basis, 38% every six months and 3% on a monthly basis.
HNCF has created a video to show how to check for your mouth for oral cancer:
‘We want everyone to be having a conversation about mouth cancer,’ Professor Mark McGurk, founder of HNCF, said.
‘By bringing routine mouth checks front-of-mind and putting it on the agenda, we’ll raise awareness, raise the number of early detections and reduce the number of people facing stage two and three mouth cancers.’