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November is Mouth Cancer Action Month: If in doubt get it checked

The Trust is offering free mouth cancer screenings at Warrington Hospital on Wednesday 23rd November, as part of our continued support of Mouth Cancer Action Month.

Warrington and Halton Teaching Hospitals (WHH) is offering free mouth cancer screenings at Warrington Hospital on Wednesday 23rd November, as part of our continued support of Mouth Cancer Action Month.

Mouth Cancer Action Month is an initiative run by the Oral Health Foundation, which has taken place in November each year since 2009. It aims to raise awareness of the issues surrounding the condition and the symptoms that people should look for.

The symptoms to look out for are:

• A feeling that something is caught in your throat

• A numbness of the tongue or other area of the mouth

• A chronic sore throat or hoarseness that persist more than six weeks

• An ulcer or white or red patch anywhere in the mouth that does not heal within 3 weeks

• A lump or swelling anywhere in the mouth, jaw or neck that persist for more than 3 weeks

• A difficult in swallowing, chewing, or moving the jaw or tongue

• An unexplained loosening of teeth with no dental cause

If in doubt pop along and get it checked out!

WHH’s dedicated Maxillofacial Team will be offering free Mouth Cancer screening on Wednesday 23rd November between 9am - 12pm and 1.30pm - 4pm. No appointment is necessary; you simply need to attend at the Maxillofacial and Orthodontics department, located in the Appleton Wing of Warrington Hospital, to make use of this free service.

The team are running this session for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began to make more people aware of the symptoms of mouth cancer. There will be FREE parking to those attending, please give your car registration when booking in at the reception for your FREE check. Please note that this is not a dental check, as we are unable to offer them, but will be a check of the soft tissue in your head, mouth and neck. This includes:

• Knowing how to spot mouth cancer early and regularly checking for unusual changes in the mouth.

• Understanding what is likely to cause mouth cancer and reducing your risk.

• Acting quickly when you see something out of the ordinary by visiting your dentist. Many people with mouth cancer go to their dentist or doctor too late.

Hospital Practitioner Maxillofacial Surgery, Stephen Porter, said, “We would encourage patients to not be frightened or worried about seeking advice and are happy to see anybody who may have any concerns. Symptoms to look out for are ulcers that do not heal within a couple of weeks, or unusual lumps or swellings or any red or white patches that do not look normal.”

The importance of checking for mouth cancer symptoms cannot be understated as in the UK; more than 8,300 people were diagnosed with mouth cancer last year, equivalent to 22 people a day. Mouth cancer is more common in those over 40, particularly men, but it’s now affecting more younger people and women than ever. The number of people being diagnosed with mouth cancer has grown by around a third in the last decade and remains one of very few cancers which are predicted to increase further in the coming years.

It is important that people play their part in combating this disease by recognising the signs and symptoms of the condition. Risk factors for mouth cancer include smoking, excess alcohol consumption, unhealthy diet, sunlight (over exposure can lead to cancer in the lips) and another is HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) which is transmitted by oral sex. It is important that people make regular visits to their dentist, who, as part of their examinations will screen people for mouth cancer.

Mouth Cancer Awareness Month - details of event on Wednesday 23 November, 9am-12noon, 1:30pm-4:00pm at the Orthodontics Department at Warrington Hospital. FREE parking