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Oral cancer is "highly preventable"
Updated: 6/23/2008 2:00:17 PM

As this week is Oral Cancer Awareness Week, health experts and offered advice on avoiding and detecting one of America's most common cancers.

According to data from Maryland, cancer of the mouth will kill more people in that state this year than either melanoma or cervical cancer, while only 50 per cent of those diagnosed with the disease will survive.

Despite these frightening statistics, John Colmers, secretary of the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH), told MaxHealth that oral cancer is "highly preventable".

He noted that 90 percent of those diagnosed with the disease in the state use tobacco products.

Dr Harry Goodman, director of the DHMH Office of Oral Health, told the website: "Lifestyle changes that reduce these risk factors offer the best protection from this deadly disease."

"Preventing the use of tobacco products and helping those who currently use them to quit can greatly reduce the number of cases of mouth cancer," he said.

For anyone concerned that they may be suffering from oral cancer, symptoms include red or white patches in the mouth, soreness, difficulty in moving tongue or jaw, numbness and swelling.

In related news, scientists have recently developed a new tool for detecting oral cancer called a VELscope, which has a high success rate.

© 2008 Brafton Inc.


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