Oral cancer is one of the most serious health conditions dentists have to deal with. Both the infection and the fatality rates for the disease are rising, in contrast to other forms of cancer. One of the main things that makes the condition so deadly is the lack of awareness among the British public.
As with many cancers, spotting it early is incredibly important. Catching mouth cancer in its first stages dramatically increases a patient’s chances of survival. However, most people are simply unaware of the symptoms and causes of oral cancer, so typically don’t see their doctor or dentist until it is too late.
This month, the Mouth Cancer Foundation is hoping to change that with Mouth Cancer Awareness Day. Held on September 17th, dental practices across the UK are signing up to provide members of the public with free oral cancer screenings throughout the day. Practices can open for as long as they want – even if it is only for an hour – as it will still raise awareness of the disease.
The Mouth Cancer Foundation will also be holding a ten kilometre sponsored walk. The Mouth Cancer Awareness Walk on September 20th will see participants walk around Hyde park in London to raise awareness about the disease, along with plenty of money from sponsors.
So what can your practice do to help the Mouth Cancer Foundation with their aim of raising awareness this month? One option is to take part in one of these events, if you can. You can even organise your own to raise money for the foundation.
You can also raise awareness of oral cancer with your dental marketing. A few pamphlets and flyers in your waiting room that explain the symptoms of oral cancer, or the causes, could go a long way towards improving people’s knowledge about the disease. You should make sure you hand these out to your patients, and explain to them how much of a serious issue it is.