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watch your mouth

Two people a week die of mouth cancer - get a free examination today

It’s Mouth Cancer Awareness day and more than 500 dental surgeries will check your gob for free today. It only takes five minutes.

MEMBERS OF THE public are being urged to avail of free mouth cancer examinations at over 500 dental surgeries around the country today.

There are more than 300 cases of mouth cancer detected in Ireland annually and this initiative marks Mouth Cancer Awareness Day.

Every year, 100 people die from it – that’s two people a week.

This is the fifth year of this campaign to highlight mouth cancer and over the four awareness days so far, 22 cases of mouth cancer have been diagnosed through it.

The signs and symptoms of this cancer include:

  • A sore or ulcer in the mouth that doesn’t heal in three weeks
  • White or red patches inside the mouth
  • A lump in the mouth or neck
  • Persistent sore throat or hoarseness

Dr Gillian Smith of the Irish Dental Association said the cause of mouth cancer is not fully known but your risk is greater if you smoke or consume excess alcohol, especially spirits.

“I would urge members of the public, especially those who may not have visited a dentist in a while to avail of an oral examination,” she said. “It’s free and only takes five minutes. Early diagnosis of this disease greatly enhances the chances of successful treatment.”

You can find a list of participating dentist here.

Read: Irish cancer study reaches ‘the Oscars of the radiation oncology world’>

Opinion: ‘We Irish deal with things with a sense of humour – even cancer’>

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