The Oxfordshire CDS-CIC oral health improvement team are taking action on mouth cancer through awareness raising events during November to mark Mouth Cancer Action Month.
In the Oxford and Abingdon areas, they will be joining Health Walks organised by Oxfordshire County Council and the Ramblers Association. Aimed at older people, the walks help participants to keep active and enjoy being out-and-about with others. As instances of mouth cancer increase with age, with 78% of cases occurring in the over fifty-fives, the Health Walks are an ideal opportunity to walk and chat informally about self-checking and how to spot early signs of mouth cancer and risk factors like smoking and alcohol consumption. The walking and talking model is proving so successful that more are planned for Banbury next year. The OHI team are supporting the Mouth Cancer Action Month sponsored 10KM Walk From Home challenge and these walks will count towards some of the team’s individual 10KM totals.
To mark Blue Wednesday on 16th November, the OHI team will have a pop-up stall at the John Radcliffe Hospital with the Oxford University Hospital Here for Health and the Maxillo-Facial teams, to raise awareness of self-checking and risk factors associated with mouth cancer to patients, visitors and hospital staff.
Charlotte Iddon, CDS Oral Health Improvement Manager for Oxfordshire said: “Mouth Cancer Action Month is a fantastic opportunity to focus on oral cancers and raise awareness of the importance of self-checking for signs like changes in the mouth such as ulcers that do not heal after three weeks and changers to the tongue and gums. We also stress the importance of stopping smoking and keeping alcohol consumption to recommended limits.”
Mouth Cancer Action Month runs throughout November to raise awareness of mouth and oral cancers. Last year 8,772 people were diagnosed with the disease, the equivalent to one person every hour. Cases have risen in the UK by 58% over the last decade.