Health minister launches Mouth Cancer Awareness Day
Minister for Health Simon Harris visited Dublin Dental University and Hospital (DDUH) recently to launch the annual Mouth Cancer Awareness Day for 2017.
The TD for Wicklow and East Carlow spoke with staff, students, patients and visitors during his visit. He said: “Every year about 400 people in Ireland develop a mouth cancer. It is a cancer that is often less thought of, but it can have a very serious impact as it is usually detected late. We are encouraging people to familiarise themselves with the signs by visiting www.mouthcancerawareness.ie and talking to their dentist or GP.
“Early detection really is key with mouth cancer, as with all cancers, so I am eager to get the message out.”
One of the key messages for this year’s awareness event was raising awareness of mouth cancer among groups working with the homeless. Professor Blánaid Daly, professor of special care dentistry at DDUH, said that while many homeless people are in the high risk group for mouth cancer as they smoke and drink, many don’t visit a dentist regularly, meaning that the incidence rate among this group could be higher than normal.