The House of Commons played host to the launch of a month-long event to help raise the awareness of mouth cancer.
Throughout November, the British Dental Health Foundation, in association with Denplan and Simplyhealth, are calling on dentists, doctors and 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’.
Mouth cancer is one of the UK’s fastest growing cancers, with incidences of the disease increasing by more than 45 per cent in the decade. Latest figures show that around 6,000 new cases are diagnosed in the UK every year, with one person dying every five hours from the disease.
Chief executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, Nigel Carter, highlights the importance of early detection in the battle against the disease.
He said: ‘If the profession can inform and urge patients that regularly attending check-ups increases the chances of mouth cancer being detected at an early stage, together we can help to raise awareness of this killer disease.
‘Nine in ten people survive mouth cancers which are 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, and in turn save thousands of lives.’
• November’s DH&T will focus on oral cancer. Visit www.fmc.co.uk/publications/dental-hygiene-and-therapy/ to subscribe