Cancer Research UK fights mouth cancer
 

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Cancer Research UK fights mouth cancer

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Cancer Research UK fights mouth cancer

 

Cancer Research UK fights mouth cancer

Cancer Research UK is to launch a three-year campaign to raise awareness of mouth cancer, after experts have warned growing alcohol use is causing a steep rise in the disease.

Open Up to Mouth Cancer, with £300,000 funding from the government, will target those most at risk - heavy drinkers, smokers and people who
chew tobacco.

It will also provide information on the warning signs to look out for, such as an ulcer or sore in the mouth that lasts longer than three weeks.
Meanwhile, a woman who was diagnosed with mouth cancer is backing calls for people to examine themselves for possible signs of the disease.
Lorraine Bass, 36, from Denbighshire, needed major surgery on her tongue after a lump was found to be a tumour.

Doctors said her life was saved because she had the lump checked early.
This follows the news last week that the British Dental Health Foundation (BDHF) had once again launched Mouth Cancer Awareness Week (13-19 November).
It Could Be You, which was also backed by the British Dental Association (BDA) and Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), highlighted the importance of picking up early signs of the condition.

Mrs Bass was treated at Glan Clwyd Hospital, Rhyl, which held a drop-in screening clinic on as part of the campaign.

Mrs Bass said; ‘Obviously early diagnosis is crucial. Mouth cancer is an insidious illness and it will just take your life.’

As part of the campaign, the Maxillofacial Surgery Team at Leicester Royal Infirmary (LRI) conducted oral screening tests on a 'walk-in' basis for hospital staff and members of the public. To raise awareness of oral cancer, the Maxillofacial team held the 'walk-in' clinic every morning during the week. Staff and members of the public were encouraged to attend if they had concerns about any areas within the mouth.

Christopher Avery, consultant oral and maxillofacial surgeon at LRI, said; ‘After the success of the previous 'walk-in' clinics we were delighted to repeat the event and was glad to see that both staff and visitors took this opportunity to be screened.’
Continuing the campaign, oral and maxillofacial surgeons, are to go into secondary schools all over the UK to show 12-13 year-olds vivid pictures of young patients with mouth cancer throughout this month.

Previous research shows that talking to pupils in this way is the most effective way of discouraging children from taking up smoking.

Iain Hutchison, a maxillo facial surgeon based at Barts and the Royal London Hospital, and a member of Saving Faces, the Facial Surgery Research Foundation, said he hoped the talks would shock pupils into quitting - or better still not starting to smoke at all.

Pilot studies of similar talks to children from deprived communities in East London in the 1990s, by Saving Faces, showed that half of those who had been smokers had quit following the talk. Now they are hoping to do further research in 108 English schools – half will have the talk and half will not.

Mr Hutchison said children had said they felt shock tactics like this worked best.
‘Smoking among adolescents is rising. Kids want graphic images and powerful images, they like to know that if they do this we will get that.’

To raise further awareness, a leaflet was produced on smoking for distribution through dental practices across the country. Save your mouth ... and your life – stop smoking! explains to patients the harm that smoking does to oral health. The symbol for the campaign was a blue ribbon, where the BDHF supplied enamelled badges, and collection boxes for dentists to continue to raise funds.

Contact the BDHF on 0870 770 4000 for more information.

 Posted on : Fri 25th - Nov - 2005

 

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