To support November’s Mouth Cancer Action Month, the St Helens Wellbeing Service will be out and about offering advice and support at various community events and activities.
The team will be letting people know what signs and symptoms to look out for, how they can reduce their risks and the importance of regular check-ups at the dentist in protecting against this life-threatening disease.
Sue Forster, Director of Public Health for St Helens Council said: “Mouth cancer does not have the public awareness that other forms of cancer does; yet shockingly it claims more lives every year than testicular and cervical cancer combined. We need to change this.
“Regular attendance at a dentist to receive dental examinations, where the whole mouth is checked including the cheeks, lips, tongue and gums, is vital”.
Organised by the Oral Health Foundation, Mouth Cancer Action Month aims to reduce the amount of lives lost to mouth cancer by ensuring we are all aware of the symptoms and causes of the disease.
Symptoms to look out for are mouth ulcers which do not heal within three weeks, red and white patches in the mouth, and unusual lumps or swellings. If you notice any of these, please make an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible.
Chief Executive of the Oral Health Foundation, Dr Nigel Carter OBE explains: “Mouth cancer is one of the UK’s fastest increasing cancers, with cases up by almost 40 per cent in the last decade alone. With around 8,300 Brits diagnosed with mouth cancer last year, the disease is one of the UK’s fastest increasing cancers, with cases rising by a third in the last decade alone. Public awareness remains vital to combatting the disease and through us all being ‘mouthaware’ and spotting mouth cancer early enough, we are giving everyone the best possible chance to be successfully treated and have a good quality of life.”
The Oral Health Team from the St Helens Wellbeing Service will be promoting the campaign and will be available to offer advice and support on Wednesday 20th November 11am-1pm at the Smokefree St Helens Hub Unit 2 in the Hardshaw Centre.
To find out more information about mouth cancer and Mouth Cancer Action Month, please visit www.mouthcancer.org