Increase in oral cancer cases

There has been a rise in the number of oral cancer cases and this year these cases have been about 6,200, according to figures from Cancer Research UK show and men have about two-thirds of these cases.

About 10 years back, there were about 4,400 cases.

The rise has been due to smoking, but alcohol misuse and the human papillomavirus, HPV, infection through oral sex are also the prime reasons for the rise.

There were warning signs like mouth ulcers and red and white patches that were in the mouth and were unable to heal.

HPV infects about eight out of 10 people in the UK and most of these cases are not harmful.

It should however be noted that HPV's high-risk strains are also a cause of oral cancers, as well as cervical and other genital cancers.

Richard Shaw, a Cancer Research UK, CRUK, expert in head and neck cancers based at the Liverpool Cancer Research UK Centre, said, "We have noticed that patients with HPV-related oral cancers tend to be younger, are less likely to be smokers and have better outcomes from treatment than those whose tumours show no evidence of HPV."