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Mouth Cancer Awareness/Action Month: November 2013

Dear friends and supporters, MCAM is with us again. Looking back at the last year I have many people to thank and have endeavoured to include everyone who has contributed on our Events page. However I am aware that behind these names are many unsung heroes that have contributed quietly behind the scenes and to these I would also like to say a big thank you, we could not as a Trust survive and function without everyone's help.

Last year I mentioned that the number of new mouth cancer patients in the UK had broken through the 6500 barrier with newly announced figures for 2010. The figure for 2011 makes more sombre reading with an increase to 7698 new cases.

Looking back even further, to when we set The Trust up 16 years ago, incidence was cited at 1800-2500 new cases. Even allowing for more accurate data capture, that is a staggering rise.

In a recent joint statement from the British Society of Oral Medicine, Cancer Research and others, there is a call to action, it acknowledges that there is an increase in younger patients ("a significant increase in patients under the age of 45 in the last 20 years") and in the proportion of women affected and it calls on reduction in alcohol and tobacco consumption, which we all agree are the major causes of this cancer - however that does nothing for those 25% approx patients in this younger age group that cannot be attributed to the known factors of alcohol and tobacco. Where the cause is unclear and the person does not have an implication of HPV and has never smoked or consumed alcohol, or negligible amounts, there is still the possibility that they may be overlooked or mis-diagnosed. This matter needs urgently addressing.

We are adding a new story to our site for MCAM about a young scientist who has been affected by mouth cancer, Christine's Story, and I urge you to read this and her ideas on "Questions that need to be addressed" which are balanced and thoughtful. There are also references to some useful sites for information.

The signs of mouth cancer are shown on our site and our clear recommendation for anyone worried about anything unusual in the mouth that has not improved after two weeks is contact your dentist or GP, and if the problem persists return and express your concern.

If in doubt, check it out

Michael Walton Founder/Chair, The Ben Walton Trust

Events taking place for MCAM 2013

Christine and Emma's 'Saturday Bonanza' in aid of The Trust, Saturday 9th November - see their JustGiving page for details. Please go along and support: fun for all, cakes, raffles, quizzes etc.

Lauren McMahon and Monika McLuskey, Glasgow dental students, will run an oral cancer awareness stall at the top of Buchanan Street, Glasgow, Wednesday 13th November, 12.00-3.00pm and a cake bake sale in the Glasgow dental Hospital on Friday, 15th November, 12.00-2.00pm, please join them.

Dundee dental students led by their President, Nirmal Shah, will be holding an awareness stall and events for students for a week, 10th to 16th November.

Sheffield dental students, led by their President, Kieran Bhata, will be holding awareness events for students for a week, 10th to 16th November - see their YouTube video for information.

'A Special Dinner for Special People' will be held on the 18th November at Ian Brown's restaurant in Glasgow - huge thanks to Ian and his wife.

Mike Walton will be thanking and talking to Dundee dental students on the 6th November and speaking at the Dundee BDA evening on mouth cancer and the patients perspective. He will be speaking to Leeds dental students on the 12th November and talking to FGDP Yorkshire branch members that evening. Mike will also be thanking and speaking to Sheffield dental students on the 13th November.

For any information on these events please contact The Trust.


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