Around 50 cases of oral cancer are diagnosed each year in Cyprus with men presenting double chances of getting it than women, the health ministry said on Monday announcing the annual campaign for raising awareness on this type of cancer.
In Cyprus, a total of 736 new cases of cancer have been recorded concerning the wider area of the oral cavity – salivary glands, oropharynx, and tonsils – between 1998 and 2018, the ministry said.
“Cancer of the mouth, pharynx and salivary glands is the eighth most common cancer.”
“In general, in the last five years we have seen about 50 to 55 new cases diagnosed annually, with men being twice as likely to be infected by women,” it added.
The risk of developing oral cancer increases especially after the age of 40, according to the health ministry, adding that the main predisposing factor for its appearance is smoking.
Clinically, it said, oral cancer occurs in the form of a white or red plaque, as well as in the form of a sore or tumor, most commonly on the tongue and on the floor of the mouth.
It added that timely diagnosis of oral cancer can be made through proper self-examination that must be done by everyone once a month, but also through regular visits to the dentist every six months.
The ministry said the importance of prevention and early diagnosis of oral cancer is documented in data by the World Health Organization, which states that with the adoption of proper prevention strategies, new cases of cancer can be reduced by 30 per cent, while if oral cancer is detected during the initial stage, the five-year survival rate increases from 50 per cent to 80 per cent.
For the eighth year in the row, an awareness and prevention campaign will take place between November 29 and December 5 by the state dental care services in cooperation with the Nicosia general hospital’s oral and maxillofacial surgery.
As part of the campaign a free examination will be offered to members of the public on Friday, December 3, through the mobile dental units, outside the hospitals of Nicosia, Limassol, the old hospital of Larnaca and Paphos.
Throughout the campaign, informative material will be distributed to all dental clinics operating in public hospitals, while training seminars will be organised for Cypriot dentists in cooperation with the dental schools of the European University of Cyprus, the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens and the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.
During the week, a free examination of the public by private dentists will be offered by appointment.