Prevention is the best cure, and if people would respect those regular oral cancer screenings, this would save the planet tens of thousands of deaths annually.
On Friday, Larry Hagman, a prominent actor died of tongue cancer. He has been diagnosed with the disease in October 2011.
November is the Mouth Cancer Action Month, and hundreds of healthcare professionals focus now on educating patients about the importance of catching such a deadly disease in its early stages.
Oral cancer does not select among patients and in the past few years several important names have been touched by the disease. Just to name a few, there was Michael Douglas, the former cricketer from England Geoffrey Boycott, and Dany Baker, a BBC radio presenter.
The main risk factors which are closely linked with oral cancer include:
-excessive alcohol consumption
-a very poor diet
-infection with the HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) which is very often transmitted through oral intimacy
Patients should also be aware about the early sings and symptoms of oral cancer:
-ulcers within the mouth which do not heal within 2 weeks
-white and red patches on the mouth tissues (roof of the mouth, under the tongue, on the inside of the lips, etc.)
-swelling and lumps which look unusual and which do not heal in 2 to 3 weeks
Dr Nigel Carter who is the Chief Executive of the British Dental Health Foundation really hopes that the last death of a prominent individual, caused by oral cancer will truly help raising the awareness even more.
It normally shouldn’t take such examples for people to start taking those regular oral cancer screenings, but it seems that such cases with a huge resonance will always have a positive impact on the consciousness of the people.
In the UK alone, quite recently there have been released some statistics according to which this year there were 6,000 patients diagnosed with oral cancer.
Those who were not diagnosed very early when everything can be reversed, will most probably die of the disease.
An even more important problem is that the number of young patients being diagnosed with the disease is alarmingly increasing. Therefore, dentists are urged to advise their patients of all ages to take regular oral cancer screenings- because these can save their life!