The dental examination plays an important role in early detection of this condition. The British Dental Association has calculated that if cancers are detected early the chance of surviving for five years or more is around 80%, compared with the average of 50%. An oral cancer check forms part of a routine checkup.
Oral or mouth cancer is an abnormal growth that can occur in any part of the mouth. With around 4,000 new cases reported each year, it represents about 1% of all cancers in the UK and the numbers are increasing.
Mouth cancer is curable, but small cancers are more easily treatable. It is important that the condition is diagnosed and treated early - usually by radiotherapy or surgery. Mouth reconstruction may also be needed if cancer is extensive. If severe, oral cancer can spread and prove fatal.