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Research shows that 3 in 4 people who have mouth cancer have smoked at some point in their lives*.  Most people are now aware that smoking carries serious health risks – but they assume it means lung cancer.  They do not always associate it with the lesser known head and neck cancers so we have to keep banging the drum until our message gets through.”

Dr Vinod Joshi.  Founder, the Mouth Cancer Foundation

One way the Mouth Cancer Foundation is doing that this year is to use National No Smoking Day to shout about a brand new initiative the Mouth Cancer Screening Accreditation Scheme which aims to educate both dental practices and patients that a thorough head and neck cancer screening can be carried out at routine dental appointments by Dentists in just 2 minutes.    This is particular important for patients that smoke.

**Eighty-five percent of head and neck cancers are linked to tobacco use. Cigarettes, cigars, pipes and smokeless tobacco are not only addictive, but also have a harmful influence on the body. In addition, people who use both tobacco and alcohol are at greater risk of developing these cancers than people who use either tobacco or alcohol alone.

It has been proved that smoking is one of the main causes of mouth cancer, which is now among one of the top ten commonly diagnosed cancers. It can be detected at an early stage with the help of a dentist who is more likely to notice the early symptoms of the disease. Early detection and a clear referral pathway can save lives.

The Mouth Cancer Screening Accreditation Scheme will recognise dental practices that demonstrate a visible commitment to increasing public awareness of mouth cancer screening to all patients and to establish a documented referral pathway with a local specialist department.   The scheme officially launches at the BDA Conference on Saturday 27th April 2013.

The Mouth Cancer Foundation will accredit dental practices that routinely participate in oral cancer screening.  Full membership includes access to a dedicated section of the charity website and FREE 1 hour CPD element as well as professional development and training modules suitable for all members of the practice team to ensure regular screening benefits practice patients.

The founder of the Mouth Cancer Foundation Dr Joshi says Smoking drastically increases the risk of Mouth Cancer. It is a thoroughly debilitating disease.  We are encouraging everyone to have regular checks at their Dentists and ask their Dental Practice about Mouth Cancer Screening.  Our new accreditation programme will encourage dentists to routinely screen for mouth cancer.  The scheme helps dentists to know what they are looking for and how to check and refer patients.  This will allow head and neck cancers to be caught earlier.  Head and neck cancers are particularly vicious and debilitating when detected late.  Patients who survive are a huge drain on medical resources for the rest of their lives, in terms of post operative and the psychological care required.  With earlier detection, lives are saved and costs on the NHS will reduce dramatically.”

Every year, nearly ***one million smokers quit on No Smoking Day.  People who quit smoking and attend a mouth screening will be taking first steps to drastically improve their health and quality of life.

For more information visit the Mouth Cancer Foundation at


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Elizabeth Ayto Laverack or Izabela Nair

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The Mouth Cancer Foundation –

The Mouth Cancer Foundation is a registered charity no. 1109298.

The Mouth Cancer Screening Accreditation Scheme aims to improve outcomes for head and neck cancers in accordance with The British Dental Association’s occasional paper for the early detection and prevention of oral cancer and NICE guidelines.   It offers a realistic approach for dentists who seek to adopt best practice in oral cavity examination and opportunistic screening. The scheme embraces recent Care Quality Commission, Information Governance and Clinical Governance requirements and necessitates the recommendation by the General Dental Council for continuous professional development for the management of oral cancer for dentists.

The Mouth Cancer Screening Accreditation Scheme is open to any dental practice whose clinicians are registered with the GDC.  For more please contact the Mouth Cancer Foundation via or call +44 (0) 1924 950 950 for more information.

The Mouth Cancer Screening Accreditation Scheme is supported by:


In the UK, nearly 8000 people are diagnosed with Mouth Cancer every year.  Cancers can occur in any part of the mouth, tongue, lips, and adjacent areas like the throat, salivary glands, pharynx, larynx, sinus, and other sites in the head and neck area. In its very early stages, these Mouth Cancers can be easy to ignore.

Symptoms include:

1. An ulcer or white or red patch anywhere in the mouth that does not heal within 3 weeks

2. A lump or swelling anywhere in the mouth, jaw or neck that persists for more than 3 weeks

3. A difficulty in swallowing, chewing or moving the jaw or tongue

5. A numbness of the tongue or other area of the mouth

6. A feeling that something is caught in the throat

7. A chronic sore throat or hoarseness that persists more than 6 weeks

8. An unexplained loosening of teeth with no dental cause

More information about Mouth Cancer is available at the Mouth Cancer Foundation web site or by emailing






Microsoft Office document icon No Smoking Day PR 13.03.13.doc