Campaign to help save 30,000 lives

Mouth Cancer Action Month is being launched in November to help raise awareness of the disease and help save 30,000 lives over the next decade through early detection.

The British Dental Health Foundation is launching Mouth Cancer Action Month in November, supported by Denplan.

Over the next decade, we estimate that around 60,000 people in the UK will be diagnosed with the disease.

Without early detection, an estimated 30,000 people will die.

The campaign is hoping to raise awareness of the cancer with the general public, including the risk factors and symptoms.

Mouth cancer currently kills more people than cervical and testicular cancer combined with over 1,800 recorded deaths in 2008.

Recent high profile sufferers of the disease has included Hollywood actor Michael Douglas, BBC Presenter Danny Baker and former England Football Captain Bryan Robson.

Between 1997 and 2008, the number of mouth cancer cases had risen by nearly 46%.  At current rates, the number of mouth cancer cases recorded in the UK is likely to double within a generation. One in two people who contract the disease will die, without early diagnosis.

However, early detection of the disease can improve five year survival rates to 90%.

The Foundation is calling on thousands of dentists, doctors, pharmacists and other healthcare professionals to help save lived by educating the public and support the campaign’s unequivocal message of ‘If In Doubt, Get Checked Out’.

Smoking, alcohol abuse, poor diet, smokeless tobacco and, more recently, the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) are all risk factors which can contribute to mouth cancer.

The number of cases of mouth cancer is continuing to grow, more women are contracting the disease and there’s an increasing risk of younger people being affected, especially by HPV.

It is really important that everyone knows the warning signs for mouth cancer. They include: ulcers which do not heal within three weeks; red and white patches in the mouth; and unusual lumps or swellings in the mouth.

Our message to everyone is ‘If in doubt, get checked out.

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