Oral Cancer: The Numbers Speak For Themselves
In 1984, there were 3,030 reported cases of oral cancer in the UK. That figure rose to 6,240 by 2009, and is predicted to reach 9,200 by 2030. Rates continue to rise across genders and age groups, with more young people developing the disease than ever before.(1)
- Oral cancer makes up 2% of all new cancer cases, and is currently the 15th most common type in the UK.
- As of 2010, the UK's lifetime risk of developing oral cancer is 1 in 84 for men, and 1 in 160 for women.(2)
- The UK shows a great geographical divide in oral cancer occurrence, with the highest rates happening in Scotland, Northern Ireland and the north of England.(3)
- The most common types of oral cancer in the country are tongue and mouth, which jointly accounted for 60% of the cases in 2010.(4)
- Half of all patients diagnosed with oral cancer in the UK from 1996 to 1999 didn't survive(5), and there were 1,985 reported deaths from the disease in 2010.(6)
It's more important than ever for dental professionals to be the leaders in oral cancer screening and advocacy. As Oral Cancer Awareness Month comes to an end, it is time to make oral cancer screening and education a key focus for all patients.
- Oxford Cancer Intelligence Unit Profile of Head and Neck Cancers in England: Incidence, Mortality and Survival, 2010.
- National Cancer Intelligence Unit Head and Neck Cancer Profiles Accessed August 2013
- From Cancer Research UK, data provided by the following upon request: Office for National Statistics, June, 2012; ISD Scotland, April 2012; Welsh Cancer Intelligence and Surveillance Unit, April 2012; Northern Ireland Cancer Registry, October 2012
- Office for National Statistics (ONS). Cancer Survival: England and Wales, less common cancers by age group. London: ONS; 2005 South West Public Health Observatory.