Health & Wellbeing Service - Manchester

November is Mouth Cancer Awareness Month


Mouth cancer is on the increase with cases up by 50% in the last decade alone.

Even though it has been closely linked to lifestyle choices such as smoking, drinking, poor diet and sexual activity, it can affect anyone.

Mouth cancer has a devastating effect on a person’s life as it can lead to breathing difficulties, eating, drinking, speaking problems and even death

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UK Mouth Cancer Facts

  • Over 6500 people are diagnosed every year, with around 18 diagnosis’ per day
  • The trend seems to be two thirds are men to one third women
  • Mouth cancer is most likely to affect people over 40, with half of those  being diagnosed are aged around 65, but the condition is increasing in younger people
  • 2000 people will die every year due to mouth cancer
  • Over two thirds of those diagnosed were at a later stage which reduces the chance of survival
  • Mouth cancer kills more people than testicular and cervical cancer combined
  • Tobacco and alcohol are the main risk factors, and those who do both are 30 times more likely to develop mouth cancer

The Signs and Symptoms of Mouth Cancer


Mouth cancer can affect any of the soft tissues of the mouth, such as lips, tongue, gums and the cheeks.
Early detection is the key to survival, so make sure you regularly check your mouth for the following:

  • Ulcers (not necessary painful ones) which do not heal within 3 weeks
  • Red and/or white patches in the mouth
  • Any lumps or bumps and swellings around mouth, face head and neck areas

If you have any of these make an appointment with your dentist or GP immediately.

Risk Factors


  • Smoking and chewing or smokeless tobacco
    Tobacco transforms the usually harmless saliva into a deadly cocktail that can damage the cells in the mouth and make them cancerous
  • Alcohol
    A third of cases diagnosed in men and a fifth in women have been linked to excessive use of alcohol.
    Heavy drinkers that smoke are 30 times more at risk due to alcohol aiding the absorption of the tobacco into the soft tissues of the mouth
  • Poor diet
    Try to eat five portions of fruit and vegetables a day as research evidence suggests that the risk is reduced with every serving per day
  • HPV
    This is a sexually transmitted virus, which is on the increase and may rival number of those smoking and drinking in the next 10 years.

What the Oral Health Improvement Team is doing


This year’s campaign to raise awareness is all about the #BLUELIPSTICKSELFIE.
Come and join the Oral Health Team for a chat or to have a free mouth cancer screening by a Manchester dentist/clinician, at one of the following venues throughout the city on a first come first served basis:

  • Thursday 13th November 12pm- 2pm
    The Vallance Centre, Brunswick Street, Manchester, M13 9UJ
  • Tuesday 18th November 11am-4pm
    Wythenshawe Forum, Poundswick Lane, Manchester M22 5RX
  • Wednesday 19th November 12pm-1.30pm
    Ashcroft Surgery, 803 Stockport Road, Manchester, M19 3BS
  • Tuesday 25th November 10.30pm-12pm
    Moss Side Health Centre, Monton Street, Moss Side, Manchester, M14 4GP