As the main sponsor of Mouth Cancer Action Month – organised by the Oral Health Foundation - Simplyhealth Professionals is once again fuelling awareness of mouth cancer through its #BlueLipSelfie campaign this November.
Fun, striking, and easy to do, the #BlueLipSelfie campaign encourages dental professionals, patients, and the general public to wear blue lips as a visible sign of support and get people talking about mouth cancer. The increasing popularity of #BlueLipSelfie provides dental professionals with a unique springboard to talk to their patients about the risks, symptoms and prevention of this devastating disease.
Henry Clover, Chief Dental Officer at Simplyhealth Professionals, said: “We’re delighted with the growing support for our #BlueLipSelfie campaign and Mouth Cancer Action Month. Dental professionals in particular are really getting behind the campaign and we love seeing the creative selfies that are shared on social media and on our gallery every year. We’re extremely proud to have made excellent progress in raising awareness of the disease over the years, but the rising figures of mouth cancer cases still speak for themselves, and there is much work to be done.
“While Mouth Cancer Action Month and #BlueLipSelfie provide a brilliant focal point to shine a spotlight on the disease, it’s crucial that dental professionals keep the conversation about mouth cancer going throughout the year. Recent research* by the Oral Health Foundation and Simplyhealth Professionals revealed that 71% of UK adults said their dentist had never spoken to them about mouth cancer. We can and should improve this as a profession.”
In the same survey, figures revealed that awareness of mouth cancer amongst the public is still low. 75% of UK adults don’t know any of the symptoms of mouth cancer. In addition, research conducted by Simplyhealth Professionals and YouGov** discovered that 83% of UK adults said they never check their own mouths for signs of mouth cancer.
“When this is added to the number of adults not regularly visiting a dentist, it’s perhaps easy to see why mouth cancer is often only spotted at far-too-late stages,” says Henry. “Early detection of mouth cancer is pivotal in fighting against this disease and makes an enormous difference to survival rates. The more we can get health professionals and the public talking about mouth cancer, the more lives we can save, and we hope that #BlueLipSelfie continues to fuel those conversations.”
Dr Nigel Carter, Chief Executive of the Oral Health Foundation, commented: “We are extremely grateful that Simplyhealth Professionals is once again a key supporter of Mouth Cancer Action Month. With a joint approach from the dental profession, we can all help raise public awareness of the signs and symptoms of mouth cancer and help ensure that every patient is checked for signs of the disease. This should increase the likelihood of the disease being detected early, with treatment more likely to result in a positive outcome for the patient.”
#BlueLipSelfie is easy, quick and fun to do and allows everyone to visibly show their support. To take part in #BlueLipSelfie all practices have to do is take a photo of themselves, their patients or their teams with blue lips and share it on Twitter or Instagram using the campaign’s hashtag: #BlueLipSelfie. Practices and patients can also directly upload a selfie to the specially created microsite and gallery at www.bluelipselfie.co.uk or customise their photo with fun blue cartoon lips using the app.
For more information on Mouth Cancer Action Month and how you can get involved please visit www.mouthcancer.org.
*Source: Online survey of 2,002 UK adults, conducted by Atomik Research on behalf of the Oral Health Foundation and Simplyhealth Professionals, September 2018
**Source: YouGov Plc, on behalf of Simplyhealth. Total sample size was 5,264 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 12th -19th February 2018. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).