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Mouth Cancer Awareness Day 2015 focuses on rural community

Organisers are focusing particularly on those living in rural communities.

Dr Martin McAleese, a former dentist, has given his full backing to the awareness campaign.

“Mouth cancer is often referred to as the silent killer because its profile is much lower than other types of cancer,” said Dr McAleese.

“The purpose of Mouth Cancer Awareness Day is to make it more widely known and I think this year’s focus on rural communities is timely. If you haven’t been to a doctor or a dentist in a while or have been putting off going, I would urge you to get a check up without delay.”

Dr Conor McAlister from the Irish Dental Association said the signs and symptoms of mouth cancer may include a sore or ulcer in the mouth that does not heal within 3 weeks.

“Other signs are white or red patches inside the mouth, a lump in the mouth or neck or a persistent sore throat or hoarseness. If you or someone you know hasn’t visited the dentist in a long time, we would urge you to get it checked out. Everyone who has a medical card is entitled to a free examination annually while most other people will be covered under the PRSI scheme” Dr McAlister said.

Anyone who has concerns about mouth cancer can speak with a specialist nurse in confidence by calling the National Cancer Helpline on Freephone 1800 200 700.

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