In the United Kingdom, more than 8,300 people a year are given the devastating news that they have mouth cancer.

The number of people diagnosed with mouth cancer has grown by just over two thirds in the last decade. Sadly, as the amount of people diagnosed with the disease continues to grow, so does the number of people who lose their battle with the disease.

The latest figures show that over the course of the last year, more than 2,700 people in the UK died from mouth cancer. WHO (World Health Organization) estimate that across the world 330,000 people will tragically pass away because of this cruel disease every year.

For those that beat mouth cancer, the disease can leave long-lasting issues which can heavily impact day-to-day life

Breathing difficulties, problems eating and drinking, and barriers in communication are all common occurrences. Sometimes surgical treatment may also leave facial disfigurements.

In the case of all these obstacles, those people treated for mouth cancer can be left with low self-esteem, feelings of social isolation and a spiral of depression.

Rehabilitation is therefore a very important part of the treatment. Healthcare teams will need to make sure that a patient is able to access services that may include:

  • Reconstructive or plastic surgery.
  • Speech therapy.
  • Dietary counselling.
  • Emotional support.

With the sharp increase of mouth cancers being diagnosed, the expected escalation of the disease in the future, as well as the side effects of treatment, we are determined to take action. By raising awareness of mouth cancer, we can reduce the number of lives lost to the disease.

Mouth Cancer Action Month

Each year during November, the Oral Health Foundation runs a charity campaign called Mouth Cancer Action Month which aims to raise awareness of mouth cancer and make a difference by saving thousands of lives through early detection and prevention.

Mouth cancer is a disease that does not discriminate and can truly affect anyone. During November, we try to spread the following messages which encourage people to take action and be on the lookout for the early warning signs.

  • Don’t leave a mouth ulcer unattended for more than three weeks.
  • Don’t ignore any unusual lumps or swellings or red and white patches in your mouth.
  • Early detection could save your life. If you notice any changes in your mouth speak to a dentist or doctor immediately.

If the disease is caught early, the chances of survival are much higher, around 90%. Our campaign aims to increase awareness of the disease nationwide, including risk factors and warning signs, and encourage people to be proactive when it comes to their oral health. This includes being alert to any changes in your mouth and speaking to a dentist or doctor as soon as you notice anything.

Support us and help save lives

The Oral Health Foundation’s services are doing all they can to ensure everyone has the right education and tools to try and ensure we can prevent as many lives being lost to mouth cancer as possible.

As an entirely self-funded charity, the Oral Health Foundation relies on your generous support to continue our important mission of bringing better oral health to all.

By donating, you join a wide range of wonderful people and organisations who are passionate about what we believe in and work tirelessly towards.