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Mouth Cancer Action Month is a campaign that aims to raise awareness of mouth cancer and make a difference by saving thousands of lives through early detection and prevention.

Throughout November, it will be aiming to get more mouth cancers diagnosed at an early stage by increasing education of the risk factors and signs and symptoms while encouraging everybody to discuss them with their dental professional.

As long-time campaigners, the Oral Health Foundation is passionate and committed to increasing awareness of the disease and reducing the number of lives lost to it every year. In the UK, more than 7,000 people were diagnosed with mouth cancer last year. The disease has grown by a third in the last decade and remains one of very few cancers, which are predicted to increase further in the coming years – that’s why Mouth Cancer Action Month is so important. Although there are risk factors heavily linked to the disease, mouth cancer can affect anybody – that’s why it’s so important that we all know what to look out for. The campaign is all about taking action.

Mouth cancer takes the lives of more than 2,000 people each year in the UK, which is more than testicular and cervical cancer combined. Mouth cancer also takes more lives a year than road traffic accidents. By knowing more about the risk factors, living healthier lifestyles and by learning what to look out we can help reduce our risk and lower the number of lives that mouth cancer effects.

This year, the charity wants to help us by getting involved in Mouth Cancer Action Month. Whether you’re on your own or as part of a team, we have lots of ways you can be part of the campaign and really make a difference. Head over to our fundraising page and discover how you, your practice, hospital or workplace can take part in this year’s Mouth Cancer Action. They have loads of great ideas to help you raise awareness mouth cancer, along with all the resources in our online shop for you to make it as successful as possible!

Tips for your patients

1. Don’t leave a mouth ulcer unattended for more than three weeks.

2. Don’t ignore any unusual lumps or swellings or red and white patches in your mouth.

3. Early detection could save your life. If you notice any changes in your mouth please speak to a dentist or doctor immediately.

What patients think about mouth cancer

ν One person in ten is unaware of the threat of mouth cancer.

ν Almost half are more worried about mouth cancer than any other type of cancer.

ν One in four believes they are at risk from mouth cancer.

ν More than one in four are unaware smoking is leading cause of mouth cancer.

ν Almost half support calls for plain packaging.

ν Almost two-thirds support calls for minimum alcohol pricing.

ν Three times as many people support the HPV jabs for boys than are opposed to it.

ν Very few people able to identify HPV as leading cause of mouth cancer.

ν More than one in five men think HPV can be transmitted like a common cold.

ν Almost half believe investing in dentistry would help to reduce cancer incidences.

ν More than one in two think e-cigarettes are safe alternative to smoking; half are aware shisha pipes aren’t safe; two thirds are aware chewing tobacco isn’t safe; around half are aware smokeless tobacco isn’t safe.

ν Six in ten of us know somebody with cancer.