‘Action speaks louder than words’ is the message as Britain’s leading oral health charity stages a November spotlight on the killer disease.
Mouth Cancer Action Week takes place November 16 to 22, as the campaign organisers, the British Dental Health Foundation (BDHF), takes a new stance against the disease.
The new Action Week replaces the former Mouth Cancer Awareness Week name, as the Foundation and health professionals across the land take action a disease that kills more people than cervical and testicular cancer combined.
Nearly 5,000 are diagnosed with mouth cancer in annually.
The Foundation’s Blue Ribbon Badge campaign will continue to promote awareness by sending badges and collection boxes to dental practices, doctor’s surgeries, pharmacies and health centres across the country.
Badges will then be sold to the public, raising funds and promoting the campaign.
A key message is retained from previous campaigns: ‘if in doubt, get checked out.’
Easily recognisable symptoms and regular check ups can boost survival rates to 90% with early detection. Survival rates once mouth cancer has spread are as low as 50%.
Foundation chief executive Dr Nigel Carter said: ‘Our slogan – if in doubt, get checked out – reinforces our call to action. We are encouraging the public and the health profession to wear their blue ribbons with pride, and not only talk about the mouth cancer but take positive steps.’
He continued: ‘Action can be as simple as visiting the dentist regularly to making lifestyle choices such as quitting smoking or drinking in moderation.’
For more information, and for order forms for the important Blue Ribbon Badge campaign collection boxes, visit the Foundations dedicated web page www.mouthcancer.org.