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Mouth Cancer Screening

Symptoms of mouth cancer

Potential signs of mouth cancer include persistent symptoms such as:


  • Mouth ulcers that do not heel within a couple of weeks

  • Pain when talking, eating or drinking

  • Pain when moving your tongue

  • Discoloured or numb tongue or cheek


How common is mouth cancer?

Mouth cancer affects around 1 in 84 men and 1 in 160 women therefore it is quite common. It is one of the few cancers experts predict to increase in prevalence in the coming years and the number of cases has already increased by 30% in the last decade. It is very important to continue routine examinations with a dentist and report any symptoms that may worry you. As with all cancers, the earlier they are identified the easier they are to treat.


The vast majority of mouth cancer sufferers are aged over 50 years.


Causes of mouth cancer

Common causes include:


  • Smoking

  • Alcohol consumption - particularly spirits

  • Diet

  • Sunburn


Can mouth cancer be treated?

Yes but like all cancers the sooner it is identfied the better. Depending on the size and location of the cancer treatment will vary between a simple extraction using local anaesthetic to more complex procedures that involve radiotherapy and chemotherapy.


Learn more about mouth cancer by visiting

Mouth Cancer Fact Sheet


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