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Mouth Cancer - a new hope?

t-cell-attack graphic simulates immunotherapy response to mouth cancer
 
 
In my 28 years practicing as a dentist I have spotted four cases of mouth cancer whilst examining a patient. Each patient was immediately referred to the local hospital for treatment, and of those four, one survived the disease (to the best of my knowledge). This is not unusual - current figures tell us that about 6700 people were diagnosed with cancers of the mouth last year in the UK, while around  1800 people died as a result of mouth cancer. The numbers are climbing, and dentists are well positioned to potentially save your life.

In my time after graduating and before moving into dental practice, I worked in hospital departments and was involved in the care and treatment of people who had mouth cancer. It's often a severely debilitating disease and I have seen with my own eyes why early diagnosis matters.

However it's not all doom and gloom, and the recent immunotherapy story from the BBC website is an important step forward in the progress that is being made in the use of immunology to reduce the impact of the disease. Please take a few minutes to read it.

November will once again be mouth cancer awareness month, and we will be publishing more information here for you to read and share, whilst continuing to screen all patients at every examination, as we have done for over two decades.

If you have any concerns relating to mouth cancer or anything relating to your mouth, please get in touch.

Richard
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Friday, 22 November 2019

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