To set up an interview or photo opportunity for Mouth Cancer Awareness Day and for more information please call Media Ambitions on + 44 (0) 208 940 2222 or email or


“Members of the public in Edinburgh can take advantage of FREE mouth cancer checks at Stafford Street Dental Care practice on Mouth Cancer Awareness Day – WEDNESDAY 17TH SEPTEMBER 2014.”

Dr Vinod Joshi. Founder, the Mouth Cancer Foundation

Members of the public are being urged to visit the Stafford Street Dental Care practice which is opening its doors between 1100 and 1300 on Wednesday 17th September 2014. The address of the Dental Practice is as follows: 24 Stafford Street, Edinburgh, EH3 7BD. Members of the public are advised to call 0131 225 7576 to make an appointment.

The screening will be led by Dr Yann Maidment and Mrs Gillian Maidment who say “We decided to get involved in Mouth Cancer Awareness Day as this is something we are passionate about. We have been doing screenings ourselves to all our patients over the years.”

Mouth cancer affects nearly 8000 people in the UK every year and it is estimated that over 60,000 people will be diagnosed over the next decade. The disease can strike anyone at anytime so it is important to catch it early.

Mouth Cancer Awareness Day runs in conjunction with the Mouth Cancer Foundation’s Mouth Cancer Screening Accreditation Scheme*. 

Mouth Cancer Survivor and Mum-of-five, Rachel Parsonss from Coventry, knows firsthand the importance of screening for mouth cancer.  She endured several operations to rebuild her face after being diagnosed with mouth cancer in 2007.

When Rachel first discovered a small lump in her mouth on Boxing Day 2007, she wasn’t too concerned.  “I had a regular checkup appointment with my dentist in the January.   I was assured it was nothing to worry about, and told it was lichens planus, a common mouth infection.”   When months passed and the lump had become enlarged, ulcerated and painful Rachel persisted with her doctor and was finally given the terrifying news that she had buccal mucosa, a cancer of the lining of the cheeks.

On September 5, 2008 Rachel underwent an eight-and-a-half hour operation to remove the cancer from her right cheek, and replace it with muscle and a vein taken from her left wrist and forearm. Skin was then taken from her tummy to replace the skin from her arm.  After the operation, Rachel found it difficult to pluck up the courage to look in the mirror for the first time.

Rachel was allowed to leave the hospital six days later, but her battle was far from over.  Unable to open her mouth more than an inch, she was fed intravenously.   Regularly exercising her mouth, eating only baby food and several infections followed.   

She admits that the trauma nearly pulled her marriage apart. “The first year was incredibly tough. When I got home following my diagnosis my husband Tim, who is a big chunky manly fireman, was crying as he answered the door. It was awful.  Tim then tried to get on with normal family life with the kids, but I felt like he wasn’t supporting me.  No one explains the psychological effects of mouth cancer on the patients.  It is all about the medical aspects.”  As time passed life got easier and now Rachel and Tim are stronger than ever.

Amazingly, Rachel says she is grateful that she got cancer and is determined to raise awareness about the condition that could have taken her life.   She is passionate about dentists screening for cancer and patients being aware that mouth cancer screenings are available to them.   

Mouth Cancer Foundation Ambassador and Dentist, Dr Philip Lewis[i] says “The Screening offers lots of benefits to practices.  As well as saving lives it is a practice builder.  It encourages footfall and trust.  Mouth Cancer Awareness Day is about educating the public about screening.  I can think of no activity more important for dental professionals than the early detection of mouth cancer.”

Dr Vinod Joshi, Founder of the Mouth Cancer Foundation says Mouth Cancer Awareness Day was a great success in 2013.  Lives have been saved as dentist picked up cases of mouth cancer which would otherwise have gone undiagnosed.  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.”


For general press enquiries, please contact:

Elizabeth Ayto Laverack or Izabela Nair

Media Ambitions - +44 208 940 2222


The Mouth Cancer Foundation –

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

About Mouth Cancer

  • Around 60,000 people in the UK will be diagnosed with mouth cancer over the next decade.
  • In the UK, 7,700 people were diagnosed with Mouth Cancer in 2011. 
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Symptoms include:

  • An ulcer or white or red patch anywhere in the mouth that does not heal within 3 weeks.
  • A lump or swelling anywhere in the mouth, jaw or neck that persists for more than 3 weeks.
  • A difficulty in swallowing, chewing or moving the jaw or tongue.
  • A numbness of the tongue or other area of the mouth.
  • A feeling that something is caught in the throat.
  • A chronic sore throat or hoarseness that persists more than 6 weeks.
  •   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



[1] Mouth Cancer Awareness Day

In 2011 Mouth Cancer Awareness Day was successfully launched in Ireland by the Mouth Cancer Awareness Group.  To take part in Mouth Cancer Awareness Day 2013 in the UK visit> for more information.

[ii]Mouth Cancer Screening Accreditation Scheme

The Mouth Cancer Screening Accreditation Scheme is a ‘Two Minute to Save a Life’ screening protocol and 10 point checklist and recognises dental practices that demonstrate a visible commitment to increasing public awareness of mouth cancer and establish a documented referral pathway with a local specialist department. Full membership includes access to a dedicated section of the charity website and FREE 1 hour CPD element as well as a wealth of professional development and training modules suitable for all members of the practice team to ensure regular screening benefits practice patients.

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.

[iii]Dr Philip Lewis -

Dr Philip Lewis qualified at Kings College, London in 1977 and has worked in general practice and as a clinical assistant in the hospital service.   He takes a keen interest in postgraduate education, development of the dental team and public awareness of dental issues. He is on the Editorial Advisory Board of 2 national dental journals, and maintains active membership of several UK and international dental societies. Philip was voted no. 7 in the 2012 Dentistry Top 50 list of people most influential in the profession.   In addition, he is a long-serving member of the British Dental Association and acts as a media spokesman. He has made many television and radio appearances as well as having numerous articles and interviews published in the Dental and Consumer press. For the past 8 years Philip has been closely involved with the early detection of mouth cancer, lecturing regularly and training dental teams and is an Ambassador to the Mouth Cancer Foundation. Philip Lewis continues to publish regular articles on equipment and products, clinical techniques, patient care and reviews of professional textbooks. He lectures both to the profession and the public on a variety of dentally-related topics.

[iv]Stafford Street Dental Care –

Stafford Street Dental Care is an award-winning practice. The staff is genuinely interested in all the people they meet each day. They enjoy using their skills and being able to put into practice their abilities in the technical and artistic aspects of dentistry to help improve patients’ teeth and gums so they can smile confidentially. 





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