You may have seen the headlines ahead of World Cancer Day 2023 about research published from Cancer Research that finds that cancer cases will rise from the 384,000 cases diagnosed every year now to 506,000 in the next 17 years. This is an extremly worrying issue, and one that we are already seeing across Head and Neck cancers.
Action is needed to diagnose and treat cancers faster, invest in research and enhance the patience experience.
To help alleviate the strain on the NHS this increase will inevitably cause you can be aware of the signs and symptoms, and going to your doctor or dentist if these persist for more than 3 weeks to help diagnose at an earlier stage.
Being aware of the risk factors is also key:
- Tobacco: includes smoking cigarettes, cigars, or pipes; chewing tobacco; and using snuff. It is the single largest risk factor for head and neck cancer. Researchers estimate that 70% to 80% of head and neck cancers are linked to tobacco use, and the amount of tobacco use may affect prognosis, which is the chance of recovery. In addition, secondhand smoke may increase a person’s risk of developing head and neck cancer.
- Alcohol: Frequent and heavy alcohol consumption raises the risk of developing cancer in the mouth, pharynx, larynx, and esophagus.
Did you know there are other factors that can raise a person’s risk of developing head and neck cancer? You can read more here about what they are.