Mouth Cancer Action Month – leading the fight against mouth cancer
November 19th, 2018
In 2017 alone, more than 8.300 people in the UK were diagnosed with mouth cancer. Worldwide, there are over 300,000 new cases every year around the world – a 30% increase over the last decade. Unlike most other cancers, the number of people suffering from mouth cancers is predicted to increase further in the coming years. Consequently, raising awareness about mouth cancer and helping to fight it has never been more important – and that is why Mouth Cancer Action Month really matters.
What is Mouth Cancer Action Month?
Every November, an annual campaign takes place to raise awareness of mouth cancer and raise vital funds to help those who are suffering or seeking advice. The annual campaign is run by the Oral Health Foundation, the leading UK charity that works to improve health and wellbeing by reducing the harm caused by oral diseases. The aim of Mouth Cancer Action Month is to to raise awareness of mouth cancer and save lives by promoting the values of prevention and early detection – by making everybody more mouthaware.
Dentists, health professionals and other community organisations will all be helping to spread the message and show their support by highlighting the risk factors and signs and symptoms associated with the disease.
By communicating the causes of mouth cancer, the Oral Health Foundation aims to encourage healthier lifestyles and reduce the number of people diagnosed with the disease, as well as make us more aware of the early warning signs so that we can act on any unusual changes in the mouth as soon as possible.
How can dental check-ups help prevent mouth cancer?
Risk factors such as smoking and alcohol are known to be a major cause for many mouth cancers, however it is important to understand that the disease that can affect anyone – and your dentist is a key line of defence.
The easiest way to ensure that mouth cancer can be treated successfully is to recognise the early signs that something may not be quite right. That is why it is so important we all know what to look out for.
- Don’t leave a mouth ulcer unattended for more than three weeks.
- Don’t ignore any unusual lumps or swellings or red and white patches in your mouth.
- Regularly check your own mouth, lips, cheeks, head and neck for anything out of the ordinary.
Remember, some of these early signs of mouth cancer can be hard to detect yourself. One of the best ways to be sure that any suspected symptoms of mouth cancer can be treated quickly and effectively is to ensure that you have a regular dental check-up. Your dentist is trained to recognise these symptoms and will check for them as part of your examination. Visiting the dentist regularly could save more than just your teeth – when it comes to mouth cancer, a visit to the dentist could ultimately save your life.
How can I support Mouth Cancer Action Month 2018
Mouth Cancer Action month relies on support from the entire community – and everybody can play a part in the fight against this deadly disease. The Blue Ribbon Appeal plays a key role in directly engaging people with the issues surrounding mouth cancer. Whether it is talking about the risk factors involved, the early warning signs or the benefits of early detection, all can make a difference in improving education and ultimately saving lives.
Costing just £1, blue ribbon badges have been worn by over 250,000 people over the last three years and the money raised through the appeal has helped us, in the last year alone, to directly provide mouth cancer advice to 350,000 people online, over the phone, by email and by printed information. Look out for blue ribbons at your dental practice and other locations and be sure to encourage friends and family to buy a blue ribbon and wear it with pride.
You can also set up a regular charitable donation to support action against mouth cancer through the official campaign website.
If you haven’t seen your dentist in the last six months or have any questions about mouth cancer, don’t hesitate to contact the team at Battle Road Dental Practice today and we’ll be happy to arrange an appointment.