Wimbledon dentist offers free mouth cancer checks
By julie_cross | Thursday, November 08, 2012, 13:07
A Wimbledon dentist is offering free checks to local residents to help raise awareness of one of the UK's fastest rising cancers.
Dr Nisha Patel (far right) with her team at Infinitidental Clinic, Merton Hall Road, Wimbledon Chase.
Dr Patel and the team at Infinitidental are offering free health checks as part of Mouth Cancer Awareness Week.
More than 6,000 people in the UK are diagnosed with oral cancer every year. And, the number of people developing the disease has increased by nearly 30 per cent in the last decade.
Dr Nisha Patel, from Infinitidental Clinic, on Merton Hall Road, in Wimbledon Chase, opened the practice six months ago with her colleague Dr Anand Patel and has already referred one patient to a specialist who turned out to have a pre-cancerous lesion.
"Most people think their dentist is only interested in their teeth, but as well as checking teeth we also check the health of the gums, tongue, roof of the mouth and the soft tissues of the cheek," said Dr Patel.
"Oral cancer is on the increase so we are looking for red or white patches, numbness in the mouth, or indications that the teeth have moved.
"Other symptoms include ulcers that won't heal, swollen glands, voice changes or a persistent sore throat."
People who drink alcohol, smoke or chew tobacco are more at risk, she said, and men are more likely to develop mouth cancer than women.
Dr Patel said that all her regular patients will have been checked during their routine appointments, but people who don't visit a dentist are welcome to book a free ten minute check at her practice as part of Mouth Cancer Action Month, which runs throughout November.
"People don't realise that no-one else apart from your dentist will be able to spot the symptoms. So, it is really important to keep regular appointments because it could save your life."
To book a free appointment call 0208 5422171.