The Mouth Cancer Action Month campaign, dedicated to raising awareness of the killer disease, takes place throughout November.
Held by the British Dental Health Foundation, in association with Denplan, it will be calling on dentists, doctors, pharmacists to educate members of the general public about a disease that kills more people in the UK than testicular and cervical cancer combined under the tagline ‘If In Doubt, Get Checked Out’.
Latest figures show that around 6,000 new cases a year are diagnosed in the UK, and one person dies every five hours from the disease, and as a result, action really must be taken to raise awareness and change these figures.
Chief executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, Dr Nigel Carter, says: ‘If the profession can inform and urge patients that regularly attending checkups increases the chances of mouth cancer being detected at an early stage, together we can help to raise awareness of this killer disease.
‘Incidences of mouth cancer have increased by more than 45% in the last 10 years, and nine in ten people survive mouth cancers caught early yet the five year survival rate remains as low as 50%.
‘Encouraging patients to perform self-diagnosis such as looking for ulcers which do not heal within three weeks and red or white patches or unusual changes in the mouth, can also help towards early detection.’
As part of Mouth Cancer Action, the Foundation announced earlier this month that Clyde Football Club will be generously sponsoring Mouth Cancer Action throughout the 2011/12 season.
The Scottish Third Division Club, who have seen illustrious names such as Pat Nevin and Steve Archibald come through their ranks, will be wearing the Foundation’s Blue Ribbon Badge logo on their shirts to promote its annual campaign to raise awareness of a disease that kills more people than cervical and testicular cancer combined.
Dr Nigel Carter expressed his delight at Clyde FC’s commitment and hopes it encourages more professional bodies to come forward and do likewise.
He says: ‘It is a great honour to have Clyde Football Club sponsoring Mouth Cancer Action. It’s well documented that Scots suffer worst with mouth cancer than any other part of the UK, so it is fantastic to see such a positive step in raising awareness of the disease and will hopefully encourage others to follow suit.’
Director and club dentist of Clyde Football Club and owner of Whitemoss Dental Practice David MacPherson said: ‘It’s always been an aim of mine to be pro-active when it comes to spreading the message of prevention. When the opportunity to work with the Foundation arose to promote Mouth Cancer Action Month, it was one we simply could not turn down.
‘As a Community Interest Club, it gives me great delight in knowing that wearing the blue ribbon on our shirts and raising awareness of the disease that we’re giving something back to the community. We are particularly looking forward to start of the campaign itself, as there will be plenty of activity around that time.’
For information and free expert advice on oral health issues call the National Dental Helpline on 0845 063 1188, or alternatively visit www.dentalhealth.org.
The Foundation is hugely indebted to Denplan for their continued support for the Mouth Cancer campaign.