Posted by Aston Avery

HPV mouth cancer cases on the up

In recent years, there has been an increase in HPV positive mouth cancer, and compared to HPV negative mouth cancer, patients are generally younger, do not usually smoke and drink little to no alcohol.

November is Mouth cancer Action Month. As well as raising awareness about mouth cancer, the Oral Health Foundation is looking to improve public knowledge of HPV and awareness around the vaccination.  The amount of children getting the vaccination plummeted during covid so we must improve uptake. The HPV vaccination is the best way to prevent HPV-related mouth cancers. Encouraging parents to make sure their child is vaccinated at school.

A catch up program following school closures during covid has meant that more than half a million (589,457) more children have been vaccinated versus last year. 919,671 girls (80% uptake) and 862,012 boys (74% uptake) received 1 dose.

New research from the Oral Health Foundation shows that nearly a quarter of people (24%) do not know the common signs of mouth cancer, and though timely treatment of dental problems lower the chances of mouth cancer, 97% of people don’t know that going to the dentist is one of the most effective protections against this as it helps with early detection and education.

Aston spoke to Dr Catherine Tannahill, dentist and director of dentistry at Portman-Dentex.

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