Oral cancer in England

Public Health England | May 2020 | Oral cancer in England

Public Health England (PHE) has published the incidence, survival and mortality rates of oral cancer in England from 2012 to 2016.

This report presents oral cancer data for England held by the National Cancer Registration and Analysis Service (NCRAS) and includes incidence, survival and mortality rates. It covers the period from 2012 to 2016, and the data is presented at national, regional, upper-tier and lower-tier local authority level.

Incidence and mortality rates for oral cancer have risen in recent years, and most cases present with advanced disease, which reduces prognosis. Risk factors for oral cancer include smoking, other ways of using tobacco such as chewing, drinking alcohol and infection with the human papilloma virus (HPV). Treatment may be with surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy or a combination of these.

Stark inequalities in oral cancer exist between geographic areas and population groups, and there are opportunities to prevent oral cancer and to support early detection and treatment. The data in this report identifies the geographic areas and population groups most at risk to facilitate the planning of health improvement initiatives and clinical services.

Full details availalbe from PHE 

Click to access Oral_cancer_report.pdf


Two thirds of Britons unable to spot mouth cancer signs

Two thirds of Britons are completely unaware of the main signs and symptoms of mouth cancer, suggest the results of a poll carried out by the Oral Health Foundation and Denpaln | story via OnMedica

The results of a poll carried out by the Oral Health Foundation show that two out of three (66%) of those questioned had no idea of the main signs and symptoms associated with mouth cancer while nearly three in four (74%) respondents had never checked their mouth for signs of cancer.

Mouth cancer can appear in several places, including the cheeks, gums, lips, tongue and tonsils. It can also occur on the roof and floor of the mouth, as well as the head and neck. The early warning signs include a mouth ulcer that doesn’t heal within three weeks, red or white patches in the mouth, or unusual lumps or swellings on the head or neck.

In the UK, 8,337 people were diagnosed with mouth cancer last year, meaning that cases have doubled within the past 30 years.

Full story at OnMedica

Call for closer links between GPs and dentists

OnMedica | November 2018 | Call for closer links between GPs and dentists
The British Dental Association Scotland, are calling for greater coordination between health professionals, as well as checks to ensure patients have regular dental check ups, and improved detection and prevention of oral cancer. Oral Cancer a plan for action, focuses on prevention, early detection and having better referral pathways to ensure good links between dentists, GPs and pharmacists 


Last year in the UK, 2,722 people died after developing oral cancer. The 10-year survival rate is between 19% and 58%, depending on where the cancer strikes and how early it is diagnosed. Oral cancer kills three times more people than road traffic accidents in Scotland. Mouth and throat cancers are among the most unequally distributed cancers in the population, with incidence of mouth cancers, and mortality from mouth cancers, both over twice as high in people in the most deprived areas of Scotland (Source: Oral Cancer a plan for action).

Full story OnMedica Call for closer links between GPs and dentists

Read Oral Cancer a plan for action


Population-based screening program for reducing oral cancer mortality in cigarette smokers

Chuang, S-L. et al. Cancer. Published online: 5 January 2017

Background: To reduce oral cancer mortality, an organized, population-based screening program for the early detection of oral premalignancy and oral cancer was designed for high-risk individuals with habits of betel quid chewing, cigarette smoking, or both. The objective of this report was to evaluate the long-term effectiveness of this program in reducing the incidence of advanced disease and deaths from oral cancer.

Conclusions: An organized, population-based oral cancer screening program targeting more than 2 million Taiwanese cigarette smokers and/or betel quid chewers demonstrated the effectiveness of reducing stage III or IV oral cancers and oral cancer mortality. These evidence-based findings corroborate and support the screening strategy of oral visual inspection for the prevention of oral cancer among high-risk individuals in areas with a high incidence of oral cancer.

Read the full abstract here

Mouth cancer rates soar over 20 years

A new Cancer Research UK analysis reveals that rates of mouth (oral) cancer have jumped by 68% in the UK over the last 20 years.

Image source: Anne Weston – Wellcome Images // CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

The figures – released during Mouth Cancer Action Month – reveal the cancer is on the rise for men and women, young and old, climbing from eight to 13 cases per 100,000 people over the last two decades.

For men under 50, the rate has jumped by 67 per cent in the last 20 years – going up from around 340 cases to around 640 cases each year. For men aged 50 and over, rates have increased by 59 per cent climbing from around 2,100 cases to around 4,400 cases annually. Oral cancer is more common in men, but there have been similar increases women.

Read the full press release here