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Cases of mouth cancer in younger people are on the rise

October 8, 2013 at 6:28 pm by Lucie Simic

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Today there was a story in the Daily Mail highlighting the increasing issue of mouth cancer.

Nearly 8,000 people are diagnosed with mouth cancer every year and there has been a 50 per cent increase in cases between 1999 and 2007, according to the charity Mouth Cancer Foundation.

Most cases occur in people over 50, but it’s becoming more common in younger people, and doctors are looking into the reasons why. Recent studies show human papilloma virus number 16 (HPV-16) – the same one associated with cervical cancer – is linked to mouth cancer in much younger people with good oral health and no history of smoking or drinking alcohol.

Talking about the article, Mr Timothy Mellor said: “Mouth cancer is now presenting in young adults more frequently. When I started in the profession in the 1980s it was almost unheard of but I have even seen patients in their twenties  with tongue cancer. HPV is probably an important factor. I think we should be looking at boys also receiving the vaccination at school along with girls.”

You can read the full article here.