FAQ
Log In
Thursday 29th September 2016
News
 › 
 › 

Half of people do not act on mouth cancer signs

6th November 2012

A survey has found under half of respondents would find medical help if they had a mouth ulcer which did not heal.

womansmiling

The survey, carried out by the British Dental Foundation, showed many people would wait longer than recommended to visit a doctor or dentist.

The data revealed that around a third (37%) would ask for help after one to two months, 7% would wait longer than three months and just 49% would seek help in the recommended time of four weeks or less.

A mouth ulcer that does not heal within three weeks or an unusual lump or patch in the mouth can be a symptom of mouth cancer.

Dr Nigel Carter, chief executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, said: "It is of great concern that only half of people know how long they should wait before seeking medical advice over a mouth ulcer."

"Early detection is absolutely crucial in transforming survival rates, and those leaving a mouth ulcer longer than three weeks are potentially risking a late diagnosis, something that reduces five year survival rates to as low as 50%. With the benefit of early diagnosis, survival rates can increase to up to 90%."

The survey did find that nearly three in four people (71%) would ask for medical help in four weeks if they found an unusual lump or swelling.

Red or white patches in the mouth would be enough of a concern to prompt 69% of respondents to look for help within a month. 

Dr Carter added: "Through tobacco use, drinking alcohol to excess, a poor diet and exposure to the human papilloma virus (HPV), often transmitted via oral sex, individuals place themselves at risk from a disease that kills more people than cervical and testicular cancer combined."

Share this page

Comments

There are no comments for this article, be the first to comment!


Post your comment

Only registered users can comment. Fill in your e-mail address for quick registration.

Your email address:

Your comment will be checked by a Healthcare Today moderator before it is published on the site.

Mayden - Innovative cloud-based web development for the healthcare sector
© Mayden Foundation 2016