Mouth cancer expert to speak at Action Month launch

The British Dental Health Foundation today announced that Professor Simon Rogers will be the guest speaker at the Mouth Cancer Action Month reception at the House of Commons on 14 November.

Professor Rogers, who is a consultant oral and maxillofacial surgeon at Aintree University Hospital and professor at the Evidence-based Practice Research Centre, Edge Hill University, will be joined at the event by leading figures from the world of dentistry, MPs and people who have survived mouth cancer and will be sharing their stories.

The reception will be hosted by Parliamentary sponsor Sir Paul Beresford MP, himself a dentist, and will also include speeches from the Foundation's chief executive Dr Nigel Carter and President John Siebert.

Professor Rogers will be talking about mouth cancer, the current treatment and advances and also the work being done around patients’ quality of life and experiences.

Mouth Cancer Action Month, which is supported by Denplan and Simplyhealth, takes place throughout November under the strapline ‘If in doubt, get checked out’. 

The campaign aims to educate people about the main risk factors of mouth cancer, with tobacco use and drinking alcohol to excess still being the main causes of the disease. Poor diet, the human papilloma virus (HPV) transmitted via oral sex and forms of smokeless tobacco are also risk factors.

It is estimated that over the next decade 65,000 people in the UK will be diagnosed with mouth cancer. Without early detection and treatment half of them will die. Mouth cancer kills more people than cervical cancer and testicular cancer combined. Twice as many men as women are likely to be diagnosed with mouth cancer, but everyone is at risk.

Dr Nigel Carter, chief executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, said: 'We are very grateful to Professor Rogers for giving up his valuable time to come and talk at the House of Commons Reception.

“Mouth cancer is a terrible but preventable disease, which is why we need to educate people about the risk factors and symptoms. We also need to give those who are diagnosed with mouth cancer hope, which is why it will be so inspiring to hear Professor Rogers talk about the incredible work he is doing at Aintree.'

Professor Simon Rogers said: 'There is data to suggest that a continued lack of awareness of mouth cancer in the population means that just under half of patients delay seeing their dentist or doctor until the cancer is in an advanced stage. Cure rates are excellent in early cancer and the treatment is usually much simpler with the use of the laser and no need for radiotherapy.

'Recent developments in computer technology, through initiatives such as the Patients Concerns Inventory, has really allowed the multi-professional team to better support the needs of patients and help them on the road to recovery.'

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