Students get free screenings to raise awareness for Mouth Cancer Awareness Month

Did you know 91 percent of all Mouth Cancer diagnosis are linked to lifestyle, the risk factors include alcohol, tobacco, diet and HPV HPV (human papillomavirus) which is more common in the under 25s.

Community Dental Services, an employee owned community interest company who deliver oral health promotion throughout the region on behalf of Oxfordshire County Council have organised an event for students (16 and over) and staff at Banbury and Bicester College.

The event will offer students a free mouth cancer screening, by specialists Mydentist as part of Mouth Cancer Action Month to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of the deadly disease, one of the few cancers in Britain with incidence increasing year-on-year.

Cases on the rise

Charlotte Iddon, Oral Health Improvement Manager at Community Dental Services, said: “Mouth cancer is one of the UK’s fastest increasing cancers, with cases up by almost a third in the last decade.

“Holding these screenings is just one of the initiatives that we are using to raise awareness of mouth cancer in the local community. We want to educate young people on the signs, symptoms and risk factors, along with the role your dentist can play in helping to catch the disease early enough to beat it. HPV, which is spread through oral sex, will soon overtake smoking as the leading cause of mouth cancer. Due to increased rates of HPV and changes in lifestyle it is no longer a disease only associated with older people.”

Over 7,000 people in the UK were diagnosed with mouth cancer last year, while the disease claimed more lives than cervical and testicular cancer combined.

Mouth Cancer Action Month

Organised by the Oral Health Foundation, Mouth Cancer Action Month is aiming to reduce the number of lives lost to mouth cancer by ensuring we are all aware of the symptoms and causes of the disease.

Dr Nigel Harris OBE, Chief Executive of the Oral Health Foundation, said: “We are thankful for the support of Community Dental Services. Mouth Cancer Action Month relies on the support of the dental industry and with their support we will save lives.

“I would advise anyone offered the opportunity for a screening to take it. Survival rates for mouth cancer have not improved in the last 20 years and examination initiatives like this can make a real difference.”

To find out more information about mouth cancer and Mouth Cancer Action Month, please visit www.mouthcancer.org