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Help & Advice

Mouth Cancer


  • Each year 4,300 people in the UK are diagnosed with mouth cancer
  • Mouth cancer is on the increase
  • Smoking causes three quarters of all mouth cancers
  • Heavy drinking of alcohol (spirits, beers, wines) raises the risk of mouth cancer
  • A combination of smoking and drinking alcohol further increases your risk
  • Mouth Cancer is affecting more young people
  • Many people do not ask for help until it is too late.

Look out for the signs

  • Any ulcer on the upper lip, tongue or in the mouth which does not heal within two weeks
  • A white or red patch in the mouth.

Lower your risk by:

  • Visiting your dentist. If you do not have a regular dentist, your mouth should still be checked every 12 months
  • Not smoking or chewing tobacco or betal quid
  • Limiting the amount of alcohol you drink
  • Eating a well balanced diet rich in fruit and vegetables.
  • Using sunscreen regularly on your lips when outdoors.

Who can help?

You can, by reducing your risk factors
Your dentist. Make an appointment if you are concerned
Your doctor, pharmacist or other professional can also offer help

For more information

These sites may be useful for support or more information. This should not replace a professional diagnosis. If you have concerns or suspicions that you may have mouth cancer then contact your dentist or doctor immediately.

Stop Smoking Service

Your local contact is 0800 015 8512. For information about smoking issues contact the NHS Smoking Helpline on 0800 169 0 169 or go to

Mouth Cancer Foundation

Alcohol Problems Advisory Service

NHS Direct
Call 0845 46 47

Cancer Research UK - www.cancerhelp.org.uk

British Dental Health Foundation
Call 0845 063 1188