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Mouth Cancer Foundation

The Mouth Cancer Foundation is a charity dedicated to raising awareness and support for those suffering from or at risk of mouth cancer, throat cancer and other head and neck cancers, as well as providing assistance and information on living with mouth cancer for families, friends and carers.  The promotion, protection and education of good health is key to raising awareness of mouth cancer. The charity aims to inform the public about the signs, symptoms, facts and figures and key causes of mouth cancer. Know what increases your risk of getting the disease including information on HPV, alcohol and smoking.

About Mouth Cancer:

Mouth Cancer is the general term given to the variety of malignant tumours that develop in the mouth, (oral cavity).  The Mouth Cancer Foundation promotes awareness of all head and neck cancers i.e. throat, (pharynx), voice box (larynx), salivary glands, nose, paranasal, sinuses, lips and skin.

  • 1 person every 3 hours is lost to mouth cancer.

  • Over 8300 new cases in the UK each year.

  • Each year over 2700 lives are lost to mouth cancer.

  • Worldwide mouth cancer affects 6500,000 per year.

  • Mouth cancer is twice as common in men as women.

  • 75% of cases occur in the over 55 age group.

Detected early there is an excellent chance of complete cure!

Oral cancers are often painless so in addition it is important to be aware of the general signs and symptoms of mouth cancer which include:

  • An ulcer or white or red patch anywhere in the mouth that does not heal within 3 weeks.

  • A lump or swelling anywhere in the mouth, jaw or neck that persists for more than 3 weeks.

  • Difficulty in swallowing, chewing or moving the jaw or tongue.

  • Numbness of the tongue or other area of the mouth.

  • A feeling that something is caught in the throat.

  • A chronic sore throat or hoarseness that persists more than 6 weeks.

  • Unexplained loosening of teeth with no dental cause.

Risk Factors include:

  • Tobacco use is considered the main cause of mouth cancer.

  • Drinking alcohol regularly, especially spirits, increases the risk four-fold. 

  • Drinkers and smokers are 30 times more likely to develop mouth cancer.

  • Poor diet and social deprivation is linked to a third of all cancer cases.

  • The Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), transmitted through oral sex, could overtake tobacco and alcohol as the main risk factor within the next decade.   It is already accounting for many new cases in women and the young who traditionally were unlikely to get the disease.

  • Exposure to the sun is a cause of skin cancer which can affect the lips and face.

More information about Mouth Cancer is available at the Mouth Cancer Foundation web site or by emailing

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