It’s another health day on Zee Companion and we decided to talk about oral cancer. In the UK there are over 2000 deaths due to this horrible form of cancer every year and 91% of oral cancer cases were preventable (according to Cancer Research UK).The two leading causes of mouth cancer in the UK are drinking too much alcohol and smoking. A lot of people from the South Asian community like to chew tobacco and this also a major cause of oral cancer too.

Here are some common causes of mouth cancer:

  • Ulcers that don’t heal
  • Halitosis-Bad Breath
  • White or red patches in the throat
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Speech problems
  • A lump in your neck

Other symptoms:

  • A lump or thickening on the lip
  • A lump in the mouth or throat
  • Unusual bleeding or numbness in the mouth
  • Loose teeth for no apparent reason

Today I was joined by Dr Gurdip Khambay who qualified in 1984 from the Royal London Hospital and joined the White House Dental Practice in 1988. Her special interests are in Endodontics and cosmetic dentistry. She is currently attending courses on bleaching and Periodontics as well as looking into starting an MSc in Periodontics.

I even asked Dr Khambay if halitosis (bad breath) was sign of oral cancer and she said that it wasn’t however bad breath was due to a number of factors and it was important to pay attention to ones dental hygiene by brushing ones teeth properly, and even cleaning your tongue on a regular basis.

Dr Khambay said that one should visit their dentist on a regular basis as dental issues were linked to the heart and since heart disease was on the rise-prevention was better than ultimately cure.

So it seems fair to conclude after today’s show, that oral care and hygiene is incredibly important regardless of your age, gender or background.