News & media News 500 miles for smiles – Dental teams fight against mouth cancer The Oral Health Foundation is proud to support a small team at Tg’s Dental Suite in Ashby de la Zouch who are committed to raising awareness and funds for Mouth Cancer Action Month this November. During November each team member will be taking time out of their day, every day to wear a mouth cancer awareness t-shirt and walk. They aim to do 500 miles minimum between them to help bring the issue of mouth cancer forward. Each year it is an unfortunate fact that many more lives could be saved if people knew what to look for when it comes to checking for mouth cancer. Often it is not discovered until the later stages making it increasingly hard to treat and survive with a good quality of life. When asked why they would do this the reply was simple: “As Dental Care Professionals, we play an integral role in the health of our community. We are very passionate about this role hence our campaign this November. We would like this to reach as many people as possible and if we can prevent a single case of mouth cancer it will be worth every blister and every second of our time. We will be chatting with people as we pass and educating the public. We even have blue lipstick to grab attention and start conversations!” More than half (53%) of all mouth cancers are diagnosed in stage IV, where the cancer is at its most advanced. It is the lack of information and awareness that is heavily linked with this and the high mortality rate. In the past five years, this has not improved which is why it is so important to spread the message this mouth cancer Women do still have better one-year, five-year and 10-year survival rates compared to men. However, this disease does not discriminate and over the past few years, it has been increasing for both men and women. The latest figures show that around 8,800 people in the UK were diagnosed with mouth cancer last year. Mouth cancer signs can include: Mouth ulcers that are painful and do not heal within several weeks. Unexplained, persistent lumps in the mouth or the neck. Unexplained loose teeth or sockets that do not heal after extractions. Unexplained, persistent numbness or an odd feeling on the lip or tongue. Sometimes, white, or red patches on the lining of the mouth, gum or tongue. Hoarseness or change in voice. Support TG's Dental Suite in Ashby de la Zouch by going to their JustGiving page and if you want to find out more about mouth cancer then go to https://www.dentalhealth.org/mouthcancer.