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Dentists to tackle surge in mouth cancer cases

DENTISTS will gather today in a bid to tackle the disproportionate number of Scots being diagnosed with mouth cancer.

More than 300 experts are meeting in Glasgow to discuss the important of early detection for one of the country's fastest-growing cancers.

Mouth cancer rates have risen by more than 41% in the past 10 years, with 6200 people in the UK diagnosed with the disease.

Scotland is attributed with 770 of these cases, giving it a disproportionately higher number per head compared to the rest of the UK. Alongside this is a rise in cases in Scottish young people, with the number of sufferers under the age of 45 on the rise.

Jonny Hiscocks, of Edinburgh's New Town Dental Care, said: "In the past, the disease was mainly confined to men over 50 who were smokers or drinkers but a growing number of cases – about one in 10 – are being seen in younger people who do not smoke or drink. As yet, there is no explanation for these cases but potential risk factors could be poor diet, the spread of certain strains of the human papillomavirus and even a possible lack of sunshine."

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