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Get involved in Blue Wednesday to help raise awareness of mouth cancer

With Mouth Cancer Action Month set to kick-off next week, campaign organiser the Oral Health Foundation is urging all dental professionals to turn blue on Wednesday 15 November and show their support for mouth cancer.

The charity is appealing to health professionals around the country to take part in Blue Wednesday to help share key messages about mouth cancer. While also encouraging patients and communities to be ‘Mouthaware’ and able to recognise and act on any unusual changes in their mouth.

Blue Wednesday will sit alongside the campaign’s Blue Ribbon Appeal and asks anybody who is passionate about raising awareness of mouth cancer to turn blue and raise awareness of a disease which has increased by 68% in the United Kingdom over the last 20 years.

Speaking about the event, Dr Nigel Carter OBE, CEO of the Oral Health Foundation, said: “Being at the forefront of the profession, health professionals are vital in helping make significant steps forward improving in awareness of mouth cancer, a disease which continues to sit under the radar.

“This is a simple and highly effective way which they can spread awareness in local communities.

“In past year’s supporters have worn blue wigs, blue jewellery or even painted their faces blue on Blue Wednesday.

“Try to be as creative as possible and don’t forget that you can find plenty of blue items to wear, like the plastic blue lips and blue lipstick, in the campaign’s online shop at www.mouthcancer.org/shop.

“Chances are that we will all have something blue in our wardrobe. Whether it is a shirt, trousers, hat or tie, please do get involved on 15 November by donning on a bit of blue.

“People have also combined this by wearing a Blue Ribbon Badge, blue decorations, taking Blue Lip Selfies, and even painting themselves blue. Your only limit is your imagination.”

By using Blue Wednesday as an opportunity to discuss mouth cancer with members of the local community, while raising awareness of the risk factors and signs and symptoms of the disease, the charity believes that lives could be saved through early detection.

People need to be aware of ulcers which do not heal within three weeks, red or white patches in the mouth and any unusual lumps in the head and neck area. If they are worried about anything they should contact their dentist or doctor straight away.

Latest figures show more than 7,500 Brits are diagnosed with cancer a year while it claims more than 2,000 lives, more than testicular and cervical cancer combined.

“The need for us to come together as a group and raise awareness of mouth cancer has never been more pressing,” added Dr Carter.

“I ask you to please get involved as much as you can throughout the month and especially on Blue Wednesday. Drum up as much support as you can and help us spread key, life-saving messages as far and wide as possible.”

Blue Wednesday is just one of the many pieces of activity the Oral Health Foundation have lined up throughout November and they hope you can get involved, support the campaign and change the landscape of mouth cancer in the UK.

Please let the Oral Health Foundation know what you are doing on Blue Wednesday by posting pictures on Twitter using #MouthCancerAction. You can also email pr@dentalhealth.org with any events or activities you are planning to run throughout November.

More information about mouth cancer and how you can get involved in November’s Mouth Cancer Action Month can be found at www.mouthcancer.org