“It started with a persistent sore throat, headaches and earache.  Four doctors, my GP, two professors of medicine and an ENT surgeon all diagnosed gastric reflux.  The pain was excruciating.  It took two years to get a diagnosis of cancer!”

Tongue Cancer Survivor, Stuart Caplan

Today, Mouth Cancer Foundation’s Patient Ambassador Stuart Caplan is urging everyone to sign up to the 9th annual Mouth Cancer 10KM Awareness Walk to increase awareness of all mouth, head and neck cancers.

London based Stuart knows how important early detection of mouth cancer is. He was diagnosed with tongue cancer in May 2012.  Having cancer of the tongue was such a strange and scary thought. I’d never heard of tongue cancer before. I never imagined that something like this could happen.  Diagnosed early, mouth cancer patients have a better chance of recovery and dental teams play a vital role in this. My treatment was harrowing: tongue surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy. But here I am today.    Please join the walk today.”

The Mouth Cancer 10KM Awareness Walk, which is taking place on Saturday 20th September in London’s Hyde Park, continues to be a hugely successful event and allows the charity to spread messages and better understanding of the disease and raise much needed funds to support mouth cancer patients and carers.

Mouth cancer is on the increase around the world. It is one of the top ten commonly diagnosed cancers which affects nearly 8000 people in the UK every year. The disease can strike anyone at anytime so it is important to catch it early.

Once diagnosed, Stuart went through the ordeal of chemo and radiotherapy. He also had a PEG fitted and underwent a surgery to remove 2/3 of his tongue and reconstruct it with tissue taken from his thigh. Stuart says “Mouth cancer is a debilitating disease so we need to shout about its early signs and symptoms in order to get the message through. The Mouth Cancer 10KM Awareness Walk is a great opportunity to step out and make a difference.

Founder of the Mouth Cancer Foundation, Dr Vinod Joshi says “Head and neck cancers are 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 Mouth Cancer 10KM Awareness Walk is a great way to generate publicity about head and neck cancers. Help us by stepping out to make a difference this September!”

To take part in the FREE Mouth Cancer Foundation 10KM Awareness Walk visit www.mouthcancerwalk.org.

- ENDS -

For further information or to arrange an interview please contact:

Elizabeth Laverack or Izabela Nair

Media Ambitions 020 8940 2222





The Mouth Cancer Foundation – mouthcancerfoundation.org

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 mouthcancerfoundation.org or by emailing info@mouthcancerfoundation.org



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