Facts and Figures About Mouth Cancer

new cases in the
UK each year
Each year
lives are lost
to Mouth Cancer
Mouth Cancer affects
people per year


An ulcer or white or red patch anywhere in the mouth that does not heal within 3 weeks.
A lump or swelling anywhere in the mouth, jaw or neck that persists for more than 3 weeks.
Difficulty swallowing, chewing or moving the jaw or tongue.
Numbness of tongue or other area of the mouth.
A feeling that something is caught in the throat.
A chronic sore throat or hoarseness that persists more than 6 weeks.
Unexplained loosening of teeth.

Risk Factors

Tobacco use is the main cause of mouth cancer.
Drinking alcohol to excess can increase risks four fold.
Drinking and smoking together can make mouth cancer up to 30 times more likely to develop.
Poor diet and social deprivation is linked to a third of all cancer cases.
The Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), transmitted through oral sex, could overtake tobacco and alcohol as the main risk factor within the next decade.
Exposure to the sun is a cause of skin cancer which can affect the lips and face.

Why Support the Mouth Cancer Foundation?

There are over 8,800 new cases of mouth cancer in the UK every year.

The majority of deaths from mouth cancer occur because of late detection, due to a low public awareness of the signs, symptoms, and risks. Self-checks for mouth cancer take just 2 minutes and could save your life, or someone you know.

The Mouth Cancer Foundation exists to save and improve the lives of patients, carers and survivors, increase awareness and education about all head and neck cancers. We want to make sure that everyone knows about mouth cancer so that cases can be caught earlier and patients are more likely to survive.

The charity runs the only walk for mouth cancer, the Mouth Cancer 10 KM Awareness Walk anywhere in the world. It is free to take part so everyone, anywhere can join in!

What is Mouth Cancer?

This is the general term given to the variety of malignant tumours that develop in the mouth, (oral cavity). The Mouth Cancer Foundation promotes awareness of all head and neck cancers i.e. throat (pharynx), voice box (larynx), salivary glands, nose, nasal, sinuses, lips and skin.

Educational Resources

Download a variety of free leaflets, posters and educational resources.

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