Don’t forget to check for oral cancer on World Cancer Day

2 February 2018

On World Cancer Day (4 February), the Australian Dental Association (ADA) is urging Australians to have their regular oral health check-up with their dentists. Dental check-ups help monitor patients’ overall oral health but can also detect signs of oral cancer – one of the 10 most common cancers.

“World Cancer Day’s theme, "We can. I can." applies to oral health by highlighting the importance of Australians getting their routine check-up and oral examinations with their dentists”, Dr Michael Foley, Vice Chairman of the ADA’s Oral Health Committee said.

As part of these routine check-ups, dentists screen patients for early signs of oral cancer. Early detection and a timely referral are essential as people with oral cancer have a survival rate of only 50% over five years. Oral cancer often goes undetected until it is at an advanced stage. During a check-up dentists also provide patients with information about the links between lifestyle and cancer risk, which is a key first step in effective cancer prevention.

Dr Foley continued, “However, dentists can’t identify these signs or provide this information if Australians do not see their dentist. World Cancer Day and the new year is a good opportunity for Australians to make an appointment”.

Oral cancer is a potentially fatal disease that can affect anyone from young adults right through to the elderly.

Oral cancer may affect any part of the mouth including: lips, gums, tongue, throat, inner lining of the cheeks, roof and floor of the mouth.

Although occurring in relatively small numbers, cases of oral cancer are on the rise, making it a disease that should be taken very seriously.

The major risk factors for oral cancer, which are part of the lifestyles of many Australians, include:

• Excessive alcohol consumption
• Smoking and tobacco
• Unsafe exposure to UV via sunlight (outer lip only)

For more information about World Cancer Day go to World Cancer Day

For more information from the ADA about oral cancer, go to Your Dental Health
download enquire