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Let’s talk about mouth cancer

From statistics to common symptoms, we're sharing information for Mouth Cancer Action month.

It's Mouth Cancer Action month and we wanted to take a moment to highlight some of the stats and symptoms in case they’re helpful to anyone reading. We are not doctors, and all of this information is in the public domain, but if we hope that in sharing it, it could help someone to get a diagnosis a little earlier.

Mouth cancer statistics

There's a reported 650,000 mouth cancer cases per year according to the Mouth Cancer Foundation, and it's twice as common in men than women. It occurs mostly on the tongue and tonsils, although it can be found anywhere in the mouth, including the gums, floor of the mouth, in the lips and the minor salivary glands. Awareness around the signs and symptoms is relatively low.

Mouth cancer symptoms

According to the NHS, the most common symptoms of mouth cancer are:

  • Mouth ulcers that are painful and do not heal
  • Unexplained loose teeth
  • Unexplained, persistent numbness or an odd feeling on the lip or tongue
  • White or red patches on the lining of the mouth or tongue
  • Changes in speech, such as a lisp
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Mouth cancer prevention

While any cancer can occur at any time, there are some things that can be done to help limit the risk or catch mouth cancer early. These include:

  • Avoid smoking or using tobacco
  • Drinking more than the recommended weekly guideline for alcohol
  • Eating a healthy, balanced diet with plenty of fresh vegetables
  • Have regular dental check-ups - dentist can often spot the early stages of mouth cancer

Typical treatments for mouth cancer

If mouth cancer is diagnosed early it can often be treated with surgery alone, but surgery can also be followed with radiotherapy or a combination of radiotherapy and chemotherapy.

Spa treatments and your cancer journey

All cancer treatments have their side effects that doctors will be able to offer advice on.

From our perspective, spas are certainly not going to fix all problems, but with properly trained spa therapists and the right products, they can help to ease some side effects of cancer treatments and to provide support on your cancer journey.

For example, the right type of massage has been shown to help ease pain, improve mood and help with sleeplessness. Meanwhile, products from brands like Jennifer Young help to ease some of the skincare side effects of cancer treatment.

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Read about how it feels to go to a spa when you’ve had cancer|Find out more

If you would like to find out more about spas where therapists are trained to provide the best support on your cancer journey, you can follow the link to our Safe Hands for Cancer experiences, or read more articles on this blog.

Read more about cancer support in UK spas

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