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The Mouth Cancer Foundation has today been awarded a grant from the Big Lottery Fund to assist with a brand new self-check examination initiative to encourage everyone to carry out a self-examination on their own mouth, head and neck area once a month.  The new examination is a simple check which can be carried out in a matter of seconds by everyone and will save lives.

The Founder of the Mouth Cancer Foundation, Dr Vinod Joshi says “We are delighted to receive a grant from the Big Lottery Fund.  This will enable us to get our new initiative off the ground.  The check is quick and easy.  Everyone can do it at home to look out for the signs and symptoms of mouth cancers.    Dentists can also advise patients how to screen and effectively examine their own mouths.  The expert advice of a dentist or doctor must also be sort immediately if anything suspicious is detected.”

Mouth cancer can strike anyone at anytime so it is important to catch it early. Nearly 8000 people are diagnosed with head and neck cancer in the UK every year and it is estimated that 60,000 people will be diagnosed over the next decade.

Mouth cancers can often be felt before there are any visible symptoms.  Often the best way to detect ulcers, lumps, bumps or swelling is through the sense of touch.  

Dr Joshi continues “As mouth cancer is on the increase around the world, we urge everyone to take responsibility for their own oral health.  Early diagnosis is imperative in order to save lives.   This swift and effective self check that we plan to launch in the coming months, will play a key role in the early detection of mouth cancer.”

Oral cancers are often painless so in addition it is important to be aware of the general signs and symptoms of mouth cancer which 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.
  • Difficulty in swallowing, chewing or moving the jaw or tongue.
  • 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.


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.

The Mouth Cancer Foundation is a charity solely dedicated to supporting people affected by head and neck cancer.  Support can play a pivotal role in meeting the psychosocial needs of patients. The Mouth Cancer Foundation’s online and telephone support service has given head and neck cancer patients and families the opportunity to articulate the consequences of their cancer journey and communicate their shared experiences. It is vital that the charity continues to provide free accessible information resources and ensure Mouth Cancer Foundation support is provided to those that need them.   

About Mouth Cancer

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

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

Big Lottery Fund –

The Big Lottery Fund is responsible for giving out 40% of the money raised for good causes by the National Lottery.

The Fund is committed to bringing real improvements to communities and the lives of people most in need and has been rolling out grants to health, education, environment and charitable causes across the UK. Since its inception in 2004 we have awarded close to £6bn.

The Fund was formally established by Parliament on 1 December 2006.



File Big Lottery Fund Grant PR 24.02.15.docx