The Oral Health Foundation is building up to this year’s Mouth Cancer Action Month by calling on everybody to be ‘mouthaware’.
Taking place throughout November, the charity campaign will be raising awareness of mouth cancer and improving education around how to spot the early signs and symptoms of the disease.
More than 8,300 people in the United Kingdom are now diagnosed with mouth cancer every year. This figure has increased by 49% in the last decade.
Latest reports show that mouth cancer claimed 2,722 lives in the UK last year. Many of these are because the disease is caught too late.
Dr Nigel Carter OBE, Chief Executive of the Oral Health Foundation, believes everybody needs to be aware of any unusual changes in the mouth and know what to do if anything out of the ordinary is noticed.
Dr Carter says: “The first line of defence against mouth cancer is yourself. Being able to identify mouth cancer at an early stage is vital for you being able to beat it.
“We should all be checking our mouth regularly for mouth ulcers that do not heal within three weeks. Red and white patches in the mouth and lumps and swellings in the head and neck are other possible signs of mouth cancer.
“If you spot something that doesn’t look normal, take action. If in doubt, get checked out by your dentist or doctor. The decision could save your life.”