Oral cancer cases on the increase

  • Posted

Posted 21/03/2012

Cancer Research has reported an increase in cases of oral cancer. There have been 6,200 reported cases this year, two thirds of whom are men. Most cases are linked to smoking and alcohol misuse and the HPV infection. There are warning signs which include mouth ulcers and red or white patches in the mouth that will not heal.Up to 8 out of 10 people in the UK are infected with HPV at some point but most cases are harmless. High risk strains of HPV are linked to oral cancer as well as cervical and other genital cancers. Patients with HPV related oral cancer tend to be younger and are less likely to be smokers and have better outcomes from treatment than those whose tumours show no evidence of HPV. Oral cancer is usually slow growing and can take up to 10 years to develop.Even though smoking rates have fallen it is still the major cause of oral cancer. There has also been a rise in the incidence rates of two specific oral cancers – tumours on the base of the tongue have risen by 90% and tonsil cancer has risen by 70%.Julie Crossley, a Clinical Negligence Lawyer at Ashtons Legal comments: “It is a worry that despite a fall in smoking and alcohol consumption that the oral cancer rate appears to be rising. People who are concerned should consult their dentist and their GP for advice.”


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