Published Mon, 2010-11-01 13:31; updated 2 years ago.

Early detection saves lives.

The five year survival rate of mouth cancer patients is just 50%.

BUT early diagnosis gives patients a 90% survival.

Regular visit to your dentist will ensure you are professionally screened for signs of mouth cancer. Talk to your dentists about the process and mouth cancer risk factors.

Self-examination is a simple, potentially life-saving process.

Look out for:

  • Ulcers which do not heal within three weeks
  • Red and white patches in the mouth
  • Unusual lumps or swellings in the mouth

Remember the campaign tagline – "If In Doubt, Get Checked Out."

If your mouth is a concern make an appointment with your dentist or GP immediately and make sure they know your worries.


Lifestyle choices can prevent this significant threat.


  • ALCOHOL can be deadly. Drinking and smoking to excess raises risk by up to 30 times as alcohol aids absorption of tobacco into the mouth.
  • POOR DIET has been linked to mouth cancer. Make sure you get your five-a-day fruit and vegetables. Evidence shows that extra portions of fruit and vegetables reduce the risk still further, as can fish and eggs.
  • HPV – the human papilloma virus (HPV), transmitted via oral sex, is a growing threat as a mouth cancer cause. Experts suggest it may rival tobacco and alcohol as a major cancer cause within 10 years.

Sadly risk knows no boundaries in relation to mouth cancer.

A growing number are developing the disease without displaying any traditional risk factors – underlining the need for check-ups and self-examination.

Men were once five times more likely to develop mouth cancer – now they are just twice as likely.

The age group affected is falling as younger people than ever are diagnosed.


Content provided by and copyright of the British Dental Health Foundation, the UK’s leading oral health charity. The Foundation aims to serve the public interest by improving awareness of, and access to, the means of maintaining better oral health.

British Dental Health Foundation