Major rise in UK mouth cancer rates highlighted

25 November 2016

A significant rise in rates of oral cancer has been recorded in the UK over the last two decades.

Data from Cancer Research UK has indicated that cases of mouth cancer have jumped by 68 per cent in Britain over the last 20 years, climbing from eight to 13 cases per 100,000 people during this time.

For men under 50, the rate has jumped by 67 per cent in the last 20 years, with the increase for over-50s estimated at 59 per cent. In women of all ages, the corresponding increase was 71 per cent, though the disease remains more common in men.

Around nine in ten cases are linked to lifestyle and other risk factors, with smoking known to be the biggest avoidable risk factor. The habit is linked to an estimated 65 per cent of oral cancer cases.

Other contributing factors can include alcohol consumption, diets low in fruit and vegetables and human papillomavirus infections.

Jessica Kirby, Cancer Research UK's senior health information manager, said: "It's worrying that oral cancer has become more common. It's important to get to know your body and what's normal for you, to help spot the disease as early as possible."

Posted by Philip Briggs

 


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