The UK’S leading oral health charity has announced the launch of Mouth Cancer Action Month – a campaign dedicated to raising awareness of mouth cancer.
Taking place throughout November, its organisers the British Dental Health Foundation, alongside charity partner the Mouth Cancer Foundation, will be calling on dentists, doctors and pharmacists to educate members of the general public about a disease that claims more lives than testicular and cervical cancer combined.
Sponsored by Denplan, Mouth Cancer Action Month will promote the message ‘if in doubt, get checked out’ in a bid to save thousands of lives through early detection. The number of people diagnosed with mouth cancer in the UK has significant increased over the last decade, with latest figures showing 6,767 new cases a year1.
One person loses their life to mouth cancer every five hours. As a result, action really must be taken to raise awareness and change this outlook for the better. Chief Executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, Dr Nigel Carter OBE, highlights the importance of early detection in the battle against the disease.
Dr Carter says: “If the dental and wider health profession can inform and urge patients to regularly attend dental check-ups, we can increase the chances of mouth cancer being detected at an early stage. Please join us by helping to raise awareness of mouth cancer and make a positive difference to thousands of lives.
“The good news is that if mouth cancer is caught early enough then the chances of survival substantially increase. Encouraging patients to perform self-diagnosis such as looking for ulcers that do not heal within three weeks, red or white patches in the mouth and any unusual lumps or swelling can also help towards early detection.”
Founder of the Mouth Cancer Foundation, Dr Vinod Joshi, said: “Head and neck cancers are particularly vicious and debilitating when detected late. Patients suffer for the rest of their lives, and require much post-operative and psychological care. The management of these cancers is a huge drain on medical resources. Mouth Cancer Action Month is about saving lives and educating the public about the early signs of the disease. I can think of no activity more important for dental professionals than the early detection of mouth cancer.”