Oral Cancer

There are more than 300 new cases of cancer of the mouth reported in Ireland every year. This figure is increasing by 3% every year.
Roughly half of all mouth cancers are diagnosed at an early stage which greatly improves the chances of survival.

How can you make sure your mouth stays healthy?

  • Visit the dentist regularly even if you wear dentures. Many suspicious lesions are found in older patient’s with none of their own teeth left, and increasing age is a risk factor. Medical card holders are all entitled to a dental examination every calendar year as are patients qualified on the PRSI dental scheme.
  • When brushing your teeth look out for any changes in your mouth or neck. Early warning signs include ulcers that do not heal in 3 weeks, red or white patches and swollen glands without any obvious cause.
  • Make sure to use a factor 50 sunblock on the lips in sunshine.
  • Eat a healthy diet, 5 a day fruit and vegetables. A good diet, rich in vitamins A, C and E can help cut down the risk of developing cancer.
  • Avoid the preventable risk factors which include:
    • Smoking
    • Alcohol
    • Excessive exposure to sunlight (lip cancer)
    • Chewing tobacco/Pipe smoking
    • A diet lacking in fruit and vegetables
    • HPV virus can be spread through oral sex and is now known to be implicated in oral cancer