Press Release

Minister for Health marks Mouth Cancer Awareness Day

Each year in Ireland around 700 people are diagnosed with mouth, head or neck cancer; this mainly affects older men but can also affect women and younger people.

Speaking today (Wednesday), Minister for Health Simon Harris TD said “I would encourage everyone to take note of the key messages around Mouth Cancer Awareness Day.

It is important that we are all aware of the risk factors, including smoking, alcohol consumption and poor diet. Prevention and early detection of cancer is a central part of the National Cancer Strategy 2017-2026, and I encourage everyone to follow the advice to check your mouth for symptoms on a regular basis, and to visit your dentist at least once a year.

Dentists can identify any early symptoms and, as outlined in National Cancer Strategy, can co-operate with other health and social care professionals to facilitate earlier diagnosis which will lead to better outcomes for the patient.”

Mouth Cancer Awareness Day aims to:

  • Promote public and professional awareness of mouth, head and neck cancer
  • Inform people how to reduce their risk of this disease
  • Promote early detection and encourage people to check their mouth for symptoms

The event is organised by Mouth Head & Neck Cancer Awareness Ireland, a partnership involving the Dublin Dental University Hospital, Cork University Dental School and Hospital, Irish Dental Association, Dental Health Foundation, National Cancer Control Programme, Irish Cancer Society and cancer survivors.

This year the Awareness Group is specifically targeting men over the age of 50 and have organised for the Irish Men’s Sheds Association to have dentists give talks to various Men’s Sheds Groups throughout the country during September.