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

The Mouth Cancer Foundation is celebrating after its Mouth Cancer Screening Accreditation Scheme won the award for the ‘Best Dental Innovation’ at the prestigious Dental Hygiene and Therapy Awards. 

Charity Consultants Elizabeth Laverack and Nicki Rowland accepted the award on behalf of the Mouth Cancer Foundation at the Barbican in Central London on 24th January 2014. 

Dental practices in the UK should be performing thorough mouth cancer checks on their patients.  This quick, detailed examination that takes just 2 minutes, yet very few patients are aware they should receive this at least once a year and it is suspected that some dental practices are still not doing it. The charity responded by setting up the Mouth Cancer Screening Accreditation Scheme[i].  

The Mouth Cancer Screening Accreditation Scheme, which was only launched in 2013, calls for every dental practice in the UK to be carrying out a thorough head and neck cancer screen as part of regular check-ups.  The scheme is a ‘Two minutes to save a life’ screening protocol that every dentist should be able to include in their routine examinations in order to increase early detection rates and save lives. 

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 founder of the Mouth Cancer Foundation, Dr Vinod Joshi says “Winning such an award is a huge boost to the Mouth Cancer Screening Accreditation Scheme.  Carrying out a thorough head and neck cancer examination at routine appointments will save lives.  The Mouth Cancer Screening Accreditation Scheme helps dentists and everyone working in a dental practice 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.”

Mouth Cancer Foundation Consultant Elizabeth Laverack says “We are delighted, after working so hard, to get the Mouth Cancer Screening Accreditation Scheme off the ground, to have received this recognition in such a short space of time.  Mouth cancer is a hideous disease and early detection is vital.  The more dental practices that work together on the scheme the more lives will be save. It is really that simple.” 

Co-Consultant on the scheme, Nicki Rowland adds “There are lots of benefits to practices. As well as saving lives it is a practice builder. It encourages footfall and trust.  How can we help people if they don’t go to the dentist? The scheme is as much about educating the public as it is about screening them. The charity has proved that a thorough screening can be done quickly. Every dental practice should be doing it and that is what we are now working towards.”

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




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, 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

[i]The Mouth Cancer Screening Accreditation Scheme is supported by:


Microsoft Office document icon DH&T Awards PR 27.01.14.doc