Mouth Cancer Foundation announces Support Group Award Grant recipients

The Mouth Cancer Foundation has presented three awards in its annual Mouth Cancer Foundation Support Group Awards. 

BrushUpUK, a charity based in Gloucestershire, won a £2,000 grant. They believe that everyone should have the knowledge, skills and access to maintain a good standard of oral health. 

Gloucestershire-based charity, BrushUpUK, won a £2,000 grant

BrushUpUK’s Founder Megan Thomas said: “BrushUpUK is very grateful to be honoured with such a prestigious award. This generous donation of £2,000 from the Mouth Cancer Foundation will enable us  to provide patients with a toolkit necessary to help deal with debilitating symptoms of cancer treatment and to continue contributing towards free oral health advice to patients who have completed their initial Head & Neck cancer treatment enabling their transition back in to general practice.” 

Preston and Chorley Laryngectomee Association received a £1,000 grant

Preston and Chorley Laryngectomee Association received a £1,000 grant to continue to help serve patients who have had a laryngectomy operation in the Lancashire, South Cumbria and Fylde Coast areas.  Group Leader Kim Winterton says “Preston and Chorley Laryngectomee Association is very grateful to be honoured with such a prestigious award. This generous donation of £1,000 from the Mouth Cancer Foundation will enable us to help integrate patients back into society after life a changing operation, and also provide boogie boards.” 

The £500 bronze award went to Blackpool-based Swallows Head and Neck Cancer Charity

The £500 bronze award went to Blackpool-based Swallows Head and Neck Cancer Charity.  This award was sponsored by Irwin Mitchell.   The Swallows Head and Neck Cancer Charity is known as such because a lot of the difficulty a lot of people have with swallowing.  The organisation is designed to provide 24/7 helpline support to patients and carers.   Founder Chris Curtis says “We are very grateful to be honoured with such a prestigious award. This generous donation of £500 from the Mouth Cancer Foundation will enable us to create a unique 24/7 patient / carer support line.”

The Mouth Cancer Foundation Support Group Awards are designed to reward the incredible work that support groups across the country carry out on a daily basis. The Awards recognise the support group leaders and healthcare professionals, who give up their spare time to support and work closely with people affected by head and neck cancers.

Support groups have become a lifeline mouth cancer patients.  They are often a place where they can share their experiences, and ask questions in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. It is also a place where carers, relatives and friends can go for help and advice. The Mouth Cancer Foundation recognises the impact that the support groups have and how they can help improve a patient’s quality of life. In order to show their appreciation, the charity is rewarding organisations with innovative and unique support services with a variety of grant amounts.

Dentist and President of the Mouth Cancer Foundation Dr Philip Lewis says “To be able to recognise and reward these organisations and the work that they do, caring and supporting people with head and neck cancer is incredibly important. The judges were looking for evidence that the support group offers the opportunity to communicate experiences, improves patient services and tackles the consequences of head and neck cancer treatments. We felt that BrushUpUK embodied all of these qualities and therefore decided to award them a grant.”

Four shortlisted organisations each received £100 grants.  For more information on the Mouth Cancer Foundation Support Group Awards visit

Mouth Cancer Foundation reveals changes to the 15th Mouth Cancer 10 KM Awareness Walk

Step out and make a difference in the Mouth Cancer 10 KM Awareness Walk, from one of the UK’s leading mouth cancer charities, the Mouth Cancer Foundation, which this year will take place from the convenience of your own front door! 

It is a fantastic opportunity to open up the 10 KM walk to more people than ever before.  The Mouth Cancer 10 KM Awareness Walk is designed to increase awareness of mouth and all head and neck cancers.  It is also an opportunity to celebrate survivorship and raise funds to continue to support patients, carers and survivors coping with mouth cancer. 

The idea is to walk a total of 10K, as many times as you like, on your own or with your family and pets, around your own home, garden or local area!   The charity is encouraging as many people as possible to take part in this free 10KM sponsored walk between Saturday 3rd October and Monday 30th November 2020.  This year we are holding the walk throughout Mouth Cancer Action Month to raise as much awareness as possible.  

To take part simply do the following:

  • Create a route, around your local area, with a total distance of 10 KM.   This could be any combination such as 1 x 10 KM, 2 x 5 KM, 10 x 1 KM.  The route can be done in one go, (10 KM is approximately 12500 steps and takes about one and a half to two hours to complete), or over several days.  You can even set yourself challenges and do as many 10 KMs as you like over the duration of the event.  Ideally this is a walk, but if you wish to run, walk backwards, hop, skip etc that is fine.  The choice is yours!  Just send us your photos and tag us in on social media.
  • Register via  Complete the online application form so we can send you your virtual medal on completion of the Mouth Cancer 10KM Awareness Walk. 
  • Use a free walking app to create your route.  There are loads of free walking Apps to choose from such as Strava, Charity Miles, Map My Walk, Fitbit, Walk Meter, Foot Path Route Planner and Nike Run Club. 
  • It is important that you use an app as we will need to see a copy of your completed route when you tag us in on social media.   This will help form part of the proof of you doing your 10 K.
  • Take photos of you and your family having fun walking and supporting us.  If you have a mouth cancer foundation t shirt it would be great if you could wear it when taking your photos.
  • Upload the following via your Facebook, Twitter or Instagram account: Evidence of your 10 KM route; Photos of you and your family on your walk; Any fundraising donation made via Virgin Money Giving or Just Giving.
  • Tag us in at Instagram @mouthcancer, Facebook @mouthcancerfoundation and Twitter @mouthcancerMCF and tag three friends to do the same.   Alternatively, you can email the information in at
  • Once we receive your tag/email we will email out your medal.  
  • The highest fundraisers will receive a prize.  Once we receive your donations, we will send out your certificate. 
  • The walk is open to everyone, including dogs/pets, of any age and ability.
  • Encourage your friends, family, colleagues to sign up. 
  • Anyone who really challenges themselves and can prove they have done 10 KM on each of the 60 days of the event will receive an extra prize.
  • All walk activity should be adhering to the governments social distancing policy at the time of taking part.

“This year we are rewriting the rules for our 15th Mouth Cancer 10 KM Awareness Walk, which is the only walk for mouth cancer anywhere in the world and this event promises to be bigger and better than ever,” said Dentist and Mouth Cancer Foundation President, Dr Philip Lewis. “Historically, this annual event has taken place in Hyde Park, London with people travelling from all over the country to take part. Given the pandemic, which has swept across the globe, events in 2020 are forced to take a different route…quite literally.”

Diagnosis of mouth cancer down during Covid-19 pandemic

The Mouth Cancer Foundation is concerned that, because of the current closure of dental practices, patients are not receiving regular routine examinations for early signs of mouth cancer. It seems likely that even when general dental practices re-open it may be a considerable time before a full service becomes widely available. Sadly, many cases of all head and neck cancers could be going undetected.

Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, diagnoses of all types of cancer have dramatically diminished. There are a number of reasons for this, including the reluctance of the public to visit clinical settings for fear of exposing themselves to the virus. Doctors and hospitals are assuring the public that these risks have now been minimised; however, it may still be a while before people feel completely comfortable in making appointments.

“The number of patients being diagnosed with mouth cancer has dramatically reduced in recent weeks due to coronavirus,” said Dentist and Mouth Cancer Foundation President, Dr Philip Lewis. “Prior to the pandemic the incidents of newly diagnosed mouth cancers was on the rise, so this is an alarming situation. Dental Practices are largely closed so it is more important than ever that people check themselves for mouth caner in the same way they would carry out routine examinations for other types of cancer.”

The Mouth Cancer Foundation has two important messages. Firstly, people should examine themselves regularly at home, just as they do for early signs of other cancers. Conditions to look for include:

  • Swellings in the mouth, face or neck
  • Red or white patches on the skin of the mouth, the tongue or the palate
  • Ulcers that do not heal in a maximum of 3 weeks
  • Changes in texture of the lips or inside the mouth
  • Difficulty swallowing or chewing
  • Numbness of the tongue or lips
  • A feeling of something stuck in the throat
  • Hoarseness of the throat lasting 6 weeks or longer

The Mouth Cancer Foundation publishes a free self-examination leaflet which is available for download at: This leaflet explains exactly what to look for and how.

The foundation’s second message is: If a patient of yours is concerned that any problems in their mouth may be due to early mouth cancer, they should contact the dental practice immediately, as even during closure we can still arrange referral to a specialist if necessary and still have access to fast-track referrals. If the patient is not registered with a dentist, they should contact their doctor.