Specialist nurses at Wythenshawe Hospital are this week raising awareness of mouth cancer, a disease which is on the increase and affects 5,000 new people in the UK each year. In the last 10 years, the number of new mouth cancer cases has increased by more than 30%. Whilst men are twice as likely to develop mouth cancer, there are now more cases amongst women and around 1600 people die of mouth cancer every year. People can reduce their risk by giving up smoking and reducing alcohol consumption as people who use both alcohol and tobacco are 30 times more likely to develop the condition.

Wythenshawe Hospital provides a specialist service for mouth cancer patients from all over the North West region and staff here want to raise awareness of risk factors and early signs.

Head and Neck Specialist Nurse at Wythenshawe Hospital, Bernie Ramsay, says, "Mouth cancer is less well known than most other cancers, and patients often say that they did not realise they could get cancer in their mouth. Early detection is vital for a better chance of survival and allows for simpler treatment. Mouth cancer is most common in people over 50, but everyone should be aware of the signs as an increasing number of young people are developing the condition. If you have mouth ulcers that don't heal, unusual lumps in the neck and cuts or swelling in the mouth you should seek advice from your GP. It is vital to regularly visit the dentist, as dentists are skilled in spotting early signs of mouth cancer."

People particularly at risk are those who smoke, drink alcohol heavily, have been over-exposed to UV light (e.g. working outside), have habits such as lip and cheek biting or consume a diet low in fruit and vegetables. Members of the public are welcome to drop into the main entrance of either Withington or Wythenshawe Hospital where clinical experts will be on hand to answer questions about mouth cancer throughout the week.

About University Hospital of South Manchester NHS Foundation Trust (UHSM)

UHSM is a major acute teaching hospital trust providing services for adults and children at Wythenshawe Hospital and Withington Community Hospital. We are recognised as a centre of clinical excellence, demonstrated by our mortality rates, which are among the lowest in the UK. We provide district general hospital services and specialist tertiary services to our local community. Our fields of specialist expertise - including cardiology and cardiothoracic surgery, heart and lung transplantation, respiratory conditions, burns and plastics, cancer and breast care services - are also provided to patients from much further a field, across the North West and beyond. http://www.smtr.nhs.uk

Caroline Johnson
PR & Communications Manager
University Hospital of South Manchester NHS Foundation Trust
Trust HQ
Wythenshawe Hospital
Manchester M23 9LT