St Helens residents getting health advice during mouth cancer awareness month

The St Helens Smoke Free Hub in the Hardshaw Centre
The St Helens Smoke Free Hub in the Hardshaw Centre

A St Helens health team is out and about raising awareness of a life-threatening disease during Mouth Cancer Action Month.


St Helens Wellbeing Service is offering advice and information at community events and activities during November.

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That includes the oral health team promoting the month-long campaign on Wednesday November 20 at the Smokefree St Helens Hub in the Hardshaw Centre.

The team is 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 serious 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, said: "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 event at the Hardshaw Centre on November 20 runs from 11am until 1pm.

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