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Mouth cancer causes grow as cases skyrocket in UK

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Cases of mouth cancer in the UK have increased by more than one-third in the last decade to hit a record high, according to a new report.

The number of cases has more than doubled within the last generation and previous common causes like smoking and drinking are being added to by other lifestyle factors.

According to the Oral Health Foundation, 8,864 people in the UK were diagnosed with the disease last year – up 36% on a decade ago, with 3,034 people losing their life to it within the year.

This is an increase in deaths of 40% in the last 10 years, and a 20% rise in the last five.

Dr Nigel Carter, the chief executive of the Oral Health Foundation, said: “While most cancers are on the decrease, cases of mouth cancer continue to rise at an alarming rate".

Survival rates for mouth cancer have barely improved in the last 20 years, partly because so many cases are diagnosed too late. Just over half of all mouth cancers are diagnosed at stage four – where the cancer is at its most advanced.

The findings from the Oral Health Foundation have been released to coincide with November’s Mouth Cancer Action Month.

The goal of the Oral Health Foundation is to improve people’s lives by reducing the harm caused by oral diseases – many of which are entirely preventable.

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Source: The Independent, 9 November 2022

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