The British Dental Health Foundation is appealing for dentists to help halt the growing number of mouth cancer deaths by educating their patients on the main symptoms and risk factors.
The most common causes of mouth cancer are smoking and drinking alcohol to excess. It kills one person every five hours in the UK. In fact, people who do both are up to 30 times more likely to develop the condition. Poor diet is also a contributory factor.
However, around 25% of mouth cancer cases in younger people present none of the common risk factors. So although leading a healthy lifestyle will cut a person’s risk considerably it is vital that patients are taught to be aware of the possible symptoms too.
The plea for help is being issued in the run up to this year’s Mouth Cancer Awareness Week. Running between 13-19 November, the campaign is using the tagline ‘It Could Be You’ to demonstrate that the condition can strike anyone at any time.To help get people started, the Foundation is providing a free Mouth Cancer Awareness Week Guide for anyone wanting to get involved (call 0870 770 4014 or visit www.mouthcancer.org for your copy), with campaign supporters, Denplan, providing a free poster.
Dentists can also claim a free Collection Box and Blue Ribbons by calling the same number, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
All money generated through the sale of ribbons will go towards raising awareness of mouth cancer.