The Oral Health Foundation and Denplan invited MPs and health professionals to sign the Charter and demonstrate their support for its policy recommendations.
The Mouth Cancer Charter was created to coincide with November’s Mouth Cancer Action Month. The campaign calls for more people to be able to recognise and act on any unusual changes to the mouth. The Oral Health Foundation and Denplan are concerned that mouth cancer referrals have significantly fallen over the pandemic, while awareness of the major signs and symptoms of mouth cancer is very low.
Dr Catherine Rutland, clinical director at Denplan, part of Simplyhealth said: “We’ve worked together with the Oral Health Foundation for over 20 years on this campaign, but we wanted to go one step further this year by spreading the mouth cancer awareness messages further and wider into the corridors of Westminster.”
Recent research conducted by The Oral Health Foundation and Denplan shows that four-in-five UK adults have never been exposed to public health messaging around mouth cancer.
Dr Rutland said: “If people can easily recognise the risk factors and what to look out for in terms of changes in their mouth, health professionals will also be able to catch cases earlier.
"Late diagnosis of mouth cancer is becoming all too common and this will have a severe effect on a person’s quality of life and their chances of survival.”
The Charter proposes that GP’s, pharmacists, care home and nursing staff should all get enhanced training to further improve early detection. Spotting signs early can increase the chances of survival from 50 to 90 per cent.
Commenting on the policy recommendations proposed in the Charter, Dr Nigel Carter, chief executive of the Oral Health Foundation said: “If these mouth cancer policy changes were put into action we could drive down case numbers and save the government a significant amount of money in oral cancer treatment costs.”