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In support of Oral Cancer Awareness Month in America, the Mouth Cancer Foundation is urging everyone in the UK to be aware of the early signs of mouth cancer and to visit their dentist regularly.

Mouth cancer can strike anyone at anytime.  Worldwide the disease affects 650,000 people a year and it is the 6th most common type of cancer.  In the UK there are more than 8000 people diagnosed with mouth cancer every year and around 60,000 people will be diagnosed in the next decade.

Mouth cancer can occur in any part of the mouth, tongue, lips and adjacent areas like throat, salivary gland, pharynx, larynx, sinus and other sites in the head and neck area. It has a worst ratio of deaths to cases compared with skin, cervical, breast and prostate cancer and affects more men than women.

The Mouth Cancer Foundation is committed to raising awareness of this Cinderella cancer and stressing the importance of regular dental examinations. As early warning signs for mouth cancer can be easily overlooked by patients, it is important to see a dentist who is more likely to notice its early symptoms* such as lumps or irregular tissue changes in the neck, head and cheeks. Early detection and rapid treatment can save lives.

The Founder of the Mouth Cancer Foundation, Dr Vinod Joshi says “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. Head and neck cancers are vicious and debilitating when detected late. Patients who survive suffer many disabilities with speech, swallowing and appearance being affected. This is the reason why we stress the importance of regular dental examinations to ensure that any abnormalities are caught early on.”

 For more information visit the Mouth Cancer Foundation at


For general press enquiries, please contact:

Elizabeth 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 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.


File Oral Cancer Awareness Month PR 24.03.15.docx