Interviews Available: Mouth Cancer Foundation Consultant – Elizabeth Laverack

                                  Avenue Road Dental Practice - Dr Philip Lewis

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

Today, a dental practice from Freshwater, Isle of Wight is announced as the Mouth Cancer Foundation’s ‘Practice of the Month’ for May. The team has proven they go above and beyond to raise awareness of mouth cancer screening so was chosen from all practices across the UK who had joined the charity on its mission to fight mouth cancer.

Here Dentist, Philip Lewis, introduces his practice and outlines how his team shows commitment to raising awareness of the disease that continues to affect nearly 8000 people in the UK every year.

Practice Name: Avenue Road Dental Practice

Practice Address: Freshwater, Isle of Wight, PO40 9UT

Size of Practice: 1 dentist, 1 dental hygienist, 1 dental therapist

Practice Website:

Tell us about your practice written by Philip Lewis

Avenue Road Dental Practice is a general practice largely serving an older demographic but also looking after some children. We concentrate on prevention by way of careful periodic examinations and hygiene services.

The practice offers both general dentistry and cosmetic services. We provide tailored dental care taking into account patients’ general health, aspirations and desires. We provide full oral health reports, recommend treatments and offer options for patients to consider. The practice is fully private.

What prompted your practice to implement thorough head and neck cancer screenings into your standard model of care?

I have had an interest in this subject for many years. I first began screening patients for early signs of mouth cancer over 20 years ago. Since then the distressing and substantial annual increase in cases augmented the importance of this service.

As a result, I have pursued methods of making screenings more reliable, explored adjunctive aids in screening and taken steps to improve my knowledge of oral medicine and pathology.

I believe the early detection of mouth cancer ranks number one in the services dental professionals can provide for patients.

What benefits has your practice seen for the team, patients and wider community since implementing thorough head and neck cancer screening into practice?

Hopefully without sounding pious our whole team recognizes that their primary function is as health professionals. This includes our non-clinical team members. General health comes before dental health. For example, we have taken extensive postgraduate education in aesthetic dentistry but realise the most beautiful smile in the world is of little value if the patient doesn’t survive to appreciate it! Happily, my team is all on-board and their work in the struggle against mouth cancer both enhances their professional satisfaction and increases their feelings of worth.

At my practice, we have identified 2 cases of mouth cancer which have subsequently been successfully treated. Not many you may think compared to the effort involved in screening thousands but I promise you our diligence has made a real difference to them and their families!

The wider community recognises our practice as a centre of excellence and we receive referrals from doctors and other health professionals as a result.

How would a scheme like the Mouth Cancer Screening Accreditation Scheme* benefit practices?

How could it not benefit practices?! The Mouth Cancer Screening Accreditation is a fantastic resource of information and help. As well as providing free verifiable CPD, it guides through the mechanics of setting up a reliable and reproducible screening service. In addition, the scheme rewards member practices with recognition from the leading authority in this field. From a practice promotion point of view, full membership provides benefits ranging from the display of a certificate to assisted press releases for the local media so that members can spread the news of the invaluable services they offer as widely as possible,

What patients say about your practice?

“I had what I thought was a cold sore for a very long time and didn’t think anything of it. Luckily a dental nurse spotted it at my routine appointment and remembered I’d had another in the same spot at my last check-up six months earlier. Dr Lewis suspected a problem and contacted my GP. Within a very short period I was referred to a specialist and I just had a surgery to have it cut out. I’m so grateful to the team at Avenue Road Dental Practice. They are very vigilant and keep an eye on patient welfare. If they hadn’t spotted it, it would definitely have progressed so I would recommend that everyone get tested.”



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 Screening Accreditation 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. 

The scheme is a ‘Two minutes to save a life’ screening protocol, which is a 10-point checklist that every dentist should be able to include in their routine examinations. 

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 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.

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 website or by emailing


File MCSAS Practice of the Month PR 01.05.15.doc.docx