02 Nov

Oral Health Foundation launches 2022 Mouth Cancer Action Month campaign

The Oral Health Foundation has launched its annual Mouth Cancer Action Month campaign.

Established in 2000, the campaign, which runs throughout November, is designed to raise awareness of oral cancer. Mouth cancer has become more common in the UK, but awareness remains relatively low. 

The aim of Mouth Cancer Action Month is to educate people about the signs and symptoms of mouth cancer and encourage them to be mouth-aware. 

In the UK, more than 8,300 new cases of mouth cancer were diagnosed in 2021. This type of cancer kills more people than cervical and testicular cancer combined. Despite its growing prevalence, many people are still unaware of the main risk factors and symptoms. As a result, the majority of cases are diagnosed at an advanced stage when there is a high risk that cancerous cells have spread.

Since 2000, the Oral Health Foundation has invested almost £2 million in mouth cancer campaigns.

During the month of November, the charity will be working with the Mouth Cancer Foundation and practices and dental teams across the country to get people thinking and talking about mouth cancer.

This year, it’s particularly important for the campaign to reach as many people as possible, with patients struggling to get regular routine dental appointments. If patients miss out on check-ups, there is a real risk that cases of mouth cancer will go undetected and this means that the chances of survival will decrease. 

Many practices are offering free screening during November. Oral cancer screening forms part of all routine dental examinations.

The main symptoms of oral cancer include painful and slow-healing ulcers and sores, abnormal swelling and lumps in the mouth or throat, a persistent sore throat and hoarseness, red or white patches in the mouth and difficulty swallowing. 

Anyone who notices changes in their mouth or has concerns about mouth cancer is encouraged to contact their dentist or their GP.