News & blogs News Thinking positive: New research shows a third of us believe we will BEAT cancer 18 November 2016 With the chances of receiving a cancer diagnosis now reported to be 50%1 during a person’s lifetime, the British pubic are remaining positive, as new research reveals one in three are entirely confident that they could beat cancer. As part of Mouth Cancer Action Month, leading health charity the Oral Health Foundation, looked at the British public’s attitudes towards cancer and found out that they were largely positive, with more than a third (33.7%) confident that they would defeat the disease2 if they were diagnosed with it. The resilient outlook comes in spite of more than half (52.2%) of those surveyed having a family member who had lost their battle with cancer. The charity is pleased that the public have such a positive attitude towards their chances of beating cancer, but also want to remind them that their chances of survival often rely on getting an early diagnosis. As part of Mouth Cancer Action Month, the charity is encouraging everyone to make sure they are aware of the major signs and symptoms of mouth cancer to give them the best chance of a positive outcome. Dr Nigel Carter OBE, CEO of the Oral Health Foundation said on the findings: “There is enormous positivity amongst the public which has been largely driven by some major advances in diagnosing and treating certain types of cancers. But unfortunately, this is not the case for some forms of the disease, such as mouth cancer. “Mouth cancer cases have grown by more than a third (39%) in the last decade while the disease now claims more than twice as many lives than cervical and testicular cancers combined. Much of this can be attributed to late diagnosis of the disease which stems from us being unaware of the early warning signs, symptoms and causes of mouth cancer. “Everybody needs to check their mouths regularly for anything unusual, such as ulcers which do not heal within a couple of weeks, any red or white patches and any unusual lumps or bumps in the head or neck area. “If you do find any of these signs, or are close to somebody with any of these, you should visit your dentist or doctor straight away.” The research carried out by the Oral Health Foundation in aid of Mouth Cancer Action Month also revealed that around one in five (21%) believe they will develop cancer at some stage during their life. “Cancer can affect anyone at any time of their lives and that is a message we hope, albeit solemnly, have to realise,” Dr Carter added. “The ‘it will never happen to me’ mindset is something that we have to all get over and make sure that we take the appropriate measures to try and give ourselves the best chance of beating the disease, whether it’s reducing our risk through quitting smoking and not drinking alcohol to excess, or simply being more Mouthaware and knowing what to look out for.” Mouth Cancer Action Month runs throughout November and is organised by the Oral Health Foundation and sponsored by Denplan. The charity campaign is aiming to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of mouth cancer, in order to get more cases caught early enough to make a difference to the chances of survival. Mouth cancer can affect anyone so everybody needs to be able to recognise and act on the early warning signs in order to improve early diagnosis and help save lives which otherwise could be lost to this terrible disease.