The British Dental Health Foundation today announced details of the UK's largest mouth cancer action campaign, dedicated to raising awareness of the killer disease.
Mouth Cancer Action Month takes place in November and is sponsored by Denplan. The campaign will be calling on dentists, doctors, pharmacists to help educate members of the public about a disease that kills more people in the UK than testicular and cervical cancer combined under the tagline ‘If In Doubt, Get Checked Out'.
Latest figures show that more than 6,000 new cases a year are diagnosed in the UK, and one person dies every five hours from the disease. Chief Executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, Dr Nigel Carter OBE, highlighted the importance of early detection in the battle against the disease.
Dr Carter said: "Performing a mouth cancer check should be part of every routine dental examination. If the profession can inform and urge patients that regularly attending checkups increases the chances of mouth cancer being detected at an early stage, together we can help to raise awareness of this killer disease.
"The role of the healthcare professional, and particularly the dentist, is crucial in providing the patient with the information about the risks of mouth cancer. Tobacco use, drinking alcohol to excess, poor diet and the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), transmitted via oral sex are all risk factors than can be discussed with the patient."
Incidences of mouth cancer continue to increase every year, and nine in ten people survive mouth cancers caught early yet the five year survival rate remains as low as fifty per cent. Encouraging patients to perform self-diagnosis such as looking for ulcers which do not heal within three weeks and red or white patches or unusual changes in the mouth, can also help towards early detection.
If you are planning on holding an event to raise awareness of mouth cancer to your local community, please visit our mouth cancer website and share your details. If you know anyone who has suffered from mouth cancer, or you diagnose a cancerous or suspicious lesion during the campaign, the Foundation would love to hear from you. Please contact a member of the PR team or 01788 539792 to share your details.