New drive targets mouth cancer

Anita Pati

Cancer Research UK will launch a three-year campaign in November to highlight the risks and symptoms of mouth cancer.

The campaign will receive £300,000 funding from the Department of Health and is set to target specific at-risk groups.

These include smokers, heavy drinkers, people who are not registered with a dentist and those who chew such carcinogenic substances as tobacco, betel leaf or areca nut - the chewing of which is widely practised in many parts of Asia and in Asian migrant communities.

Audiences will be targeted mainly through lifestyle publications. Dentists, doctors and pharmacists will also be encouraged to be alert to early signs of mouth cancer.

The fact that CRUK has been chosen to manage the campaign is an endorsement of the success of its skin cancer prevention drive, SunSmart, which the charity has run in conjunction with the Government for almost three years.

The campaign will draw on research and case studies to highlight its message during Mouth Cancer Awareness Week, which runs from 13-19 November.

According to the charity, about 4,400 people in the UK contract mouth cancer every year, and nearly 1,600 die from the disease. In 2003, it killed more people than cervical cancer.

CRUK head of health information Sara Hiom said: "Although mouth cancer is less common than melanoma, roughly equal numbers of people die from these diseases each year. This reflects the poorer survival rates for mouth cancer.

"Many people do not know enough about mouth cancer and its early signs for it to be detected in good time. We hope that improving awareness of the disease will raise survival rates."

The campaign will be part of the charity's Reduce the Risk campaign, launched in January, which urges people to consider taking five positive steps to reduce their risk of contracting cancer.

In a separate drive launched last week, Macmillan Cancer Relief is raising awareness of the often huge expenses cancer patients incur travelling to and from hospital. The Cost of Cancer adverts will be broadcast on radio stations in a two-week burst. Patient posters and leaflets will be distributed to hospital cancer units and doctors' surgeries.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus