Blue September is a campaign aimed at raising awareness about cancer in men, the goal is to encourage men of all ages to take preventive action by improving life style choices and having regular checks with their GP.
Statistics from Prostate Cancer Australia show that in 2017
- 16, 665 new cases of prostate cancer were diagnosed
- 23.1% of all new cancer cases were male
- 12.7 % was the percentage of male deaths from cancer.
While the Blue September organisation does an amazing job at raising awareness for prostate cancer, the team at Riverside Dental Spa would like to use this month to raise awareness for the less talked about oral cancer.
Oral cancers are part of a group of cancers referred to as head and neck cancers, it is the 7th most commonly diagnosed cancer in Australia.
Historically death rate is particularly high due to the fact it is often only discovered in its later stages.
The early stages of oral cancer can go unnoticed by the patient as there are often no recognisable pain or symptoms, there is an increasingly high risk for these types of cancers metastasising to other parts of the body such as lymph nodes of the neck.
In 2017 the Australian Government published statistics showing
- 4,956 new cases of head and neck cancer – 3,625 were males.
- 3.7% in total of new cancer diagnoses
- Tragically there were 1,026 deaths from head and neck cancer, 777 were males.
So, what are the risk factors for oral cancer?
Age is frequently named as a risk factor for oral cancer, with most cases being in patients over 40. However, it is shown that accumulative damage from other factors such as the following listed also contribute to the instance of head and neck cancers,
- Tobacco use
- Alcohol consumption
- Ultra-violet radiation (frequent sun exposure)
- And persistent viral infections such as HPV (human papilloma virus)
As mentioned above, early detection is crucial for these types of cancers, it is important if you notice an area of the mouth changing in terms of redness, discolouration or ulceration and it doesn’t appear to heal after 14 days that you seek the advice of a dentist or GP.
At Riverside Dental Spa we endeavour to keep up to date with all of the latest technology and equipment to assist our patients in having the healthiest mouth possible. At your preventive dental check one of our practitioners will use our Oral ID screening device to screen for early changes in the tissues of the mouth allowing for an early detection of potentially nasty lesions, early intervention and possible referral to the appropriate head and neck specialists.
For more information on oral screening, contact our practice on 4323 4323 or visit www.riversidedentalspa.com.au.
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