Campaign to Catch a Killer Launched by Oral Health Charity The British Dental Health Foundation today announced details of the uk’s largest mouth cancer action campaign, dedicated to raising awareness of the killer disease

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Campaign to Catch a Killer Launched by Oral Health Charity

The British Dental Health Foundation today announced details of the UK’s largest mouth cancer action campaign, dedicated to raising awareness of the killer disease.

Mouth Cancer Action Month takes place in November and is sponsored by Denplan. The campaign will be calling on dentists, doctors, pharmacists to help educate members of the 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 more than 6,0004 new cases a year are diagnosed in the UK, and one person dies every five hours from the disease. Chief Executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, Dr Nigel Carter OBE, highlighted the importance of early detection in the battle against the disease.

Dr Carter said: “Performing a mouth cancer check should be part of every routine dental examination. 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.

“The role of the healthcare professional, and particularly the dentist, is crucial in providing the patient with the information about the risks of mouth cancer. Tobacco use, drinking alcohol to excess, poor diet and the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), transmitted via oral sex are all risk factors than can be discussed with the patient.

“Incidences of mouth cancer continue to increase every year, and nine in ten people survive mouth cancers caught early yet the five year survival rate remains as low as fifty per cent. 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.

If you are planning on holding an event to raise awareness of mouth cancer to your local community, please visit and share your details. If you know anyone who has suffered from mouth cancer, or you diagnose a cancerous or suspicious lesion during the campaign, the Foundation would love to hear from you. Please contact a member of the PR team on or 01788 539792 to share your details.


(News Release issued on behalf of the British Dental Health Foundation by David Westgarth, PR and Press Officer. Telephone: 01788 539792. Email:

Editor’s notes

  1. The British Dental Health Foundation is the UK’s leading oral health charity, with a 40–year track record of providing public information and influencing government policy. It maintains a free consumer advice service, an impartial and objective product accreditation scheme, publishes and distributes a wide range of literature for the profession and consumers, and runs National Smile Month each May, to promote greater awareness of the benefits of better oral health. For more information visit

Please visit the Foundation’s Twitter accounts: dentalhealthorg and mouthcancerorg and add our Facebook fan–page: ‘British Dental Health Foundation’. You can find more information on mouth cancer at the website

  1. Mouth Cancer Action Month is the only UK mouth cancer campaign which is conducted with advice from and supported by the Department of Health and the British Dental Association.

The campaign is supported by Denplan and a number of other professional and commercial partners including Smile-on Limited and The Probe.

For further information and FREE Blue Ribbon Badge Appeal kits please contact the Foundation’s Press Office on 01788 539792 or email For free posters please also contact the Foundation.

To make a donation Justtextgiving to MCAM11 £2, £5, £10, or any amount you want, to 70070.

  1. About Mouth Cancer

  • Around 60,000 people in the UK will be diagnosed with mouth cancer over the next decade.

  • Sufferers of the condition include American actor Michael Douglas, and ex England and Manchester United Football Captain Bryan Robson.

  • Tobacco use is still considered the main cause of mouth cancer. According to the World Health Organisation, up to half of current smokers will die of a tobacco-related illness – including mouth cancer.

  • Drinking to excess can increase the risk of mouth cancer by four times. Those who smoke and drink are up to 30 times more likely to develop mouth cancer.

  • Mouth cancer is twice more common in men than in women, though an increasing number of women are being diagnosed with the disease.

  • Age is another factor, with people over the age of 40 more likely to be diagnosed, though more young people are now being affected than previously.

  • Poor diet is linked to a third of all cancer cases, and experts suggest the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), transmitted through oral sex, could overtake tobacco and alcohol as the main risk factor within the coming decade.


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