23 Sep 2015

Staff, patients, family and friends of a Cornish Specialist Dental Centre recently took themselves to the beach for a day full of fun to raise funds for and awareness of mouth cancer.

The River Practice Specialist Centre braved the wind and made the journey to Perranporth Beach, where they took part in a fun day in support of "Moveit4smiles"; an oral health initiative with a simple aim, to get moving and raise money in aid of Mouth Cancer Action Month to help the fight against mouth cancer.

The team and assembled crowd took part in a number of exciting events, including tug of war, three-legged races and even burying the practice owner, Jeremy Peak, and his two children in the sand in their very own ‘3 Peaks Challenge'.

Jeremy Peak owner of the River Practice explained why they decided to hold the event: "We wanted to help raise awareness of the charity, promote it amongst the community and to a wider tourist audience. 

"Firstly, we ‘moved it for smiles' by walking along the picturesque coastal path, followed by a healthy picnic and team games.

"It was a very enjoyable day with the whole team, their children and the public getting involved. We hope to have raised lots of awareness, as well as collecting money for the charity."

The team handed out hundreds of leaflets about the charity, and information on oral cancer as well as branded merchandise.

Every year almost 7,000 people in the United Kingdom are diagnosed with mouth cancer, with more losing their life to the disease than testicular and cervical cancer combined. However, public awareness remains low.

Jeremy continued: "The River Practice decided to get involved as around 10% have never heard of mouth cancer and even more are not aware of the risk factors involved, with a quarter of people not realising that smoking is a major cause of mouth cancer.

"What we are striving towards is educating and raising awareness of this silent killer, allowing for people to be diagnosed sooner and giving them a better chance of survival.

"Every day eighteen people are diagnosed with mouth cancer in the UK and annually more lose their fight to the disease than those with testicular and cervical cancer combined.

"What is a shocking statistic is made even more troubling when you consider that with early detection the survival rate is 90%, compared to 50% for late diagnosis. Early detection is vital."

The team were also joined by Harry and Jess from local radio station Pirate 2, who took part in the events and help round up members of the public.

Dr Nigel Carter, OBE, Chief Executive of the British Dental Health Foundation who organise Mouth Cancer Action Month stated:

"We wish to extend a special thanks to the River Practice Specialist Centre, their efforts and support will really go a long way to helping to raise awareness and funds in the fight against mouth cancer."

"If caught early, the chances of a cure is good so it's important to know some of the early warning signs.

"Look out for non-healing mouth ulcers, red or white patches in the mouth, or unusual lumps or swellings. Be mouthaware and if in doubt get checked out by your dentist or doctor."

You can view photos and videos from the Fun Day online at www.riverpractice.co.uk.