Ireland: Warning issued over relationship between alcohol and mouth cancer
By Mike Gilmore
September 13, 2021
A single glass of wine or beer a day can increase the risk of mouth cancer, with the HSE and Alcohol Action Ireland now trying to raise awareness of the issue.
We’re being urged to monitor our alcohol intake to avoid illnesses like mouth, head, or neck cancer.
That’s the warning from dental oncologist, Eleanor O’Sullivan at UCC, who says awareness needs to be raised as mouth cancer is such a silent killer.
Around 770 cases of these illnesses are reported each year, with the incidence rising.
While smoking has obvious connections with such cancers, people rarely associate alcohol with an increased risk of mouth cancer.
Combined with smoking, that risk rises even higher again.
Early signs include ulcer-like sores that don’t heal within a few weeks, white spots in the mouth, or lumps in the mouth or neck.
Those affected can become hoarse and have numbness of the lips or tongue.
Some reports even suggest that speech impediments can develop in those affected by the illness.
If you have any of the above concerns in your oral health, your being urged to contact your dentist for an appointment immediately.