Mouth Cancer Action Month

Mouth cancer screening

If YOUR mouth has one or more of the following:

  • an ulcer that lingers more than three weeks
  • an unusual lump or swelling
  • red and white patches
    …don’t ignore the fact.

Any of these could be danger signs and should be examined by a trained professional. At Woodford House Dental Practice, all our clinicians are trained to spot early indications of oral cancer – because having your mouth checked could save your life.

Last year alone, more than 6,700 people in the UK were diagnosed with mouth cancer.

Frighteningly, the number has risen by a third in the last decade. Mouth cancer now takes more lives in one year than testicular and cervical cancer, and road traffic accidents.

For information on mouth cancer prevention, go to

DON’T DELAY. For your free Mouth Cancer Screening appointment with a trained professional, call Woodford House Dental Practice on 020 8504 2704. Email us>

 Mouth cancer facts

  • Latest figures show that in 2011, there were 6,767 people diagnosed with mouth cancer in the UK
  • That’s 18 people every day – one person diagnosed every 77 minutes
  • Mouth cancer cases have increased by a third in the last decade…
  • …and it is one of few cancers that experts predict will continue to increase in the coming years
  • Mouth cancer is ranked the 16th most common cancer in the UK
  • The lifetime risk of developing mouth cancer is 1 in 84 for men and 1 in 160 for women
  • Cancer of the tongue and oral cavity are the most common forms of mouth cancer, followed then by the throat.  Lip, neck and other mouth cancers make up the rest of cases

Who does it affect?

  • Mouth cancer is twice as common in men than women
  • 86% of cases are diagnosed in those over 50
  • Mouth cancer rates per population are significantly higher in Scotland compared with England, Northern Ireland and Wales
  • Rates are much higher in white males, however those in Asian males are similar
  • More than 90% of mouth cancers in men and 85% in women are linked to lifestyle and environmental factors

Risk factors

  • Two thirds of mouth cancer cases are linked to smoking tobacco
  • A morning cigarette doubles the chances of developing the disease
  • Smokers put themselves at almost three times higher risk
  • …but cigars and pipe smokers put themselves at greater risk
  • Ex-smokers reduce their risk by a third
  • Second-hand smoke significantly increases the risk for those who have never smoked
  • Smokeless tobacco use can increase the risk of developing mouth cancer by 15 times
  • Drinking alcohol to excess is linked to around a third of all cases
  • Those who smoke and drink to excess put themselves at risk by up to 30 times
  • More than half of cases in the UK are linked to a poor diet
  • Solar radiation from the sun has been linked to cancer of the lip
  • The human papillomavirus (HPV) is estimated to overtake smoking as the number one cause of mouth cancers in the future
  • Mouth cancer is 2.5 times higher in those with periodontal disease
  • …and is 60 times higher in people with six or more missing teeth
  • Mouth cancer is 12 to 16 times higher in those who have previous been diagnosed with cancer
  • Mouth cancer is 70% more common in those whose family have a history of the disease

A silent killer

  • More than 2,000 people lose their life to mouth cancer in the UK every year
  • There are more deaths from mouth cancer than there are through road traffic accidents
  • Mouth cancer also claims more lives per year than cervical and testicular cancer combined


  • Although the number of mouth cancer cases have increased steadily over the last decade, more people are being treated successfully and living for longer
  • Early detection for mouth cancer results in a survival outcome of 90%….
  • However, delayed diagnosis means survival rates plummet to as little as 50%

What people think about mouth cancer

  • One person in ten is unaware of the threat of mouth cancer
  • Almost half are more worried about mouth cancer than any other type of cancer
  • One in four believes they are at risk from mouth cancer
  • More than one in four are unaware smoking is leading cause of mouth cancer
  • Almost half support calls for plain packaging
  • Almost two-thirds support calls for minimum alcohol pricing
  • Three times as many people support the HPV jabs for boys than are opposed to it
  • Very few people able to identify HPV as leading cause of mouth cancer
  • More than one in five men think HPV can be transmitted like a common cold
  • Almost half believe investing in dentistry would help to reduce cancer incidences
  • More than one in two think e-cigarettes are safe alternative to smoking; half are aware shisha pipes aren’t safe; two thirds are aware chewing tobacco isn’t safe; around half are aware smokeless tobacco isn’t safe
  • Six in ten of us know somebody with cancer

More Information

NHS Information on mouth cancer>

mouth cancer action month

For your free Mouth Cancer Screening appointment with a trained professional call Woodford House Dental Practice on 020 8504 2704. Email us here>