Today (Wednesday 16th November 2022) is Blue Wednesday, an annual awareness day which aims to raise awareness of mouth cancer, educate people on the early warning signs and encourage people to regularly check for the symptoms.
I’m sure we all know about blue Monday, supposedly being the saddest day of the year. But for many mouth cancer patients, their cancer blues will almost never leave them. There will always be a reminder of what they went through every day. Whether it’s their speech, their ability to eat and drink, or even just the ability to breathe properly, there is no getting away from it.
The “State of Mouth Cancer UK Report 2022” provides some sobering statistics that demonstrate how prevalent Mouth Cancer is.
- New cases of mouth cancer in the UK reached 8,846 last year. This has increased by 34% in the last decade and by 103% compared with 20 years’ ago.
- An estimated 3,034 people lost their life to mouth cancer in the UK last year. That’s seven people each day.
- In the UK, almost one person every hour is diagnosed with mouth cancer. Mouth cancer accounts for around 2% of all cancers.
- Mouth cancer is the 14th most common cancer in the UK. For men, mouth cancer is now the 9th most common cancer.
- The lifetime risk of mouth cancer currently stands at 1-in-55 for men and 1-in-108 women.
- Statistics suggest that men are more likely to have mouth cancer than women. Almost two-thirds (68%) of all mouth cancer patients are male.
- Mouth cancer is also strongly related to age. More than three-in-four (80%) of new cases are in those over the age of 55.
- Spotting mouth cancer early is crucial for beating the disease. Early detection boosts our chances of survival from 50% to 90%.
The main causes and risk factors include:
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Age and gender
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