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Rise in oral cancer

Cancer Research UK has released figures indicating a rise in oral cancer among people in their 40s

The charity Cancer Research UK has released figures indicating an alarming rise in cases of oral cancer among people in their 40s.

Diagnosis of cancers of the mouth, tongue, lip, pharynx and piriform sinus has increased by about a quarter in this age group over the past 10 years. Tobacco and alcohol are the major risk factors and poor diet and human papillomavirus (HPV) have also been linked.

The figures quoted by the charity relate to cases of oral cancer in Great Britain in 2006 and 2007. In the UK around 5,000 people are diagnosed with the disease each year and around 1,800 deaths are caused by it.

Hazel Nunn, health information manager at Cancer Research UK, said: "The good news is that oral cancer can be treated successfully if it's caught early enough. It's important that people go to the dentist regularly and report any symptoms to their GP or dentist without delay."

11th August 2009

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