Tower Hamlets residents warned of mouth cancer risks during awareness month

A month-long campaign to raise awareness of the symptoms of mouth cancer has been launched.

Tower Hamlets Council is providing advice and support through November after figures showed more than 6,500 people are diagnosed with mouth cancer each year in the UK and leads to about 2,000 deaths – with tobacco, alcohol consumption and a poor diet being key factors.

In addition, new research from the British Dental Health Foundation (BDHF), has shown an increase of women contracting the disease, particularly amongst South Asian communities due to the use of smokeless tobacco leaf-based mixtures such as paan.

Cllr Abdul Asad, cabinet member for health and wellbeing stated: “Smokeless tobacco is just as harmful as cigarette smoke so quitting tobacco will reduce your risk of mouth cancer by half within three to five years.”

Dr Somen Banerjee, director of Public Health Tower Hamlets, said: “It is very important to know the signs of mouth cancer and check regularly for white or red patches, numbness of the tongue or mouth and lumps in any part of your mouth or neck.”

“At least 75% of mouth cancers could be prevented by stopping tobacco and reducing alcohol consumption so making healthy improvements to your lifestyle is the best way to reduce your risk.”