The Mouth Cancer Foundation provided free mouth cancer screening to the public at the annual Mouth Cancer 10km Awareness Walk last Saturday (18th September).
The specialist screening team was provided by the Department of Community Special Care Dentistry, King’s College London and lead by members of the Oral Medicine Department of the Eastman Dental Institute.
132 people were screened and six were advised to see a dentist or a doctor for referral to a specialist for further investigation.
This is the largest number of participants to visit the screening unit during the walk, which has been held annually over the past five years.
The founder of the Mouth Cancer Foundation Dr Joshi says: ‘A common story many mouth cancer patients can relate to is that they were diagnosed late. Early diagnosis dramatically increases survival rates.
‘There are many particularly obvious signs and symptoms mouth cancer patients have which are often overlooked by GPs and GDPs because of their lack of awareness of the disease. The public needs to be aware of mouth cancer, too. The screening our specialist team provides at the Walk is something all dentists should be doing daily.’
Mouth cancer survivor Melanie Brooks, 26, has first hand experience of how devastating the late detection of mouth cancer can be.
She was diagnosed with mouth cancer aged just 21.
She says: ‘The symptoms of my mouth cancer went undiagnosed for 18 months. The tumor was visible on my soft palate and I had major reconstruction surgery in January 2006 followed by six weeks of radiotherapy and further reconstruction. The consequences of my cancer are still evident today with changes to my speech and appearance.’
For more information, visit the Mouth Cancer Foundation at www.mouthcancerfoundation.org.