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Two people in Ireland die every week from mouth cancers

The new president of the Irish Dental Association highlighted a 30 per cent increase in the incidence of mouth cancers in the past ten years as cause for concern.

Image: John Giles/PA Archive/Press Association Images

A 30 PER CENT increase in the incidence of mouth cancers in the past ten years is a cause for concern says the Irish Dental Association which revealed today that two Irish people are dying every week from mouth cancers.

The association’s new president Dr Conor McAlister has said that raising awareness of the dangers of mouth cancers among the general  public will be one of his main priorities during his term in office.

Oral cancer also kills more people than cervical cancer and malignant melanomas.

Up to 400 cases of mouth cancers are diagnosed every year with research showing that the risk is greater for a person who smokes and drinks.

There is also an increasing risk of mouth cancers from oral sex through the Human Papilloma Virus which can be transmitted during the act.

Dr McAlister told delegates at the Associations’ annual conference that incidence of the disease or increasing particularly among young people.

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In his address, Dr McAlister pointed out that dentists were ideally placed to provide frontline screening for mouth cancer and he stressed that an early diagnosis greatly improves the chances of survival.

He announced a dental health awareness day on the 21 September this year where free mouth examinations will be offered at participating dental practices throughout the country as well as the Dublin and Cork Dental Hospitals.

About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

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