Don Foster MP*


Bath’s MP, Don Foster, and local dentists have backed the British Dental Health Foundation’s Mouth Cancer Awareness Campaign. Commenting, Don said,

“Every five hours, one person dies from mouth cancer in the UK. Yet recent surveys show that 44 per cent of people have never even heard of it!

Main Image“Many people are also largely ignorant of the disease’s strong links with smoking, poor diet and alcohol, and it’s clear that a few simple lifestyle changes could drastically reduce the chances of them developing the condition.”

Well known local dentist, Phillip Pettemerides, of the Edgar Buildings Dental Practice said,

“Early detection of mouth cancer, with regular dental examinations, is the key, and increases the person’s survival chances from 50 to 90 per cent,” said Mr. Pettemerides. He continued:

“The first sign of the condition is often an ulcer that won't heal or a red or white patch in the mouth. As many people choose to ignore these symptoms it is even more important to provide the public with education on the condition.”

Don has put his weight behind a parliamentary motion calling on the government to do more to increase public awareness of mouth cancer and to promote the benefits prevention and early diagnosis by encouraging a healthy diet, smoking cessation, moderate alcohol intake and self-examination. (Text of motion below).

Don has also written to the Chief Executive of the local Primary Care Trust, Rhone MacDonald to find out what action is being taken locally to address the widespread ignorance of the disease and how it can be prevented.


The text of the Motion is as follows:

That this House congratulates the collection of institutions, including the British Dental Association, the British Dental Health Foundation, Action on Smoking Health and Cancer Research UK, that are organising Mouth Cancer Awareness Week which is taking place this year from 7th November; notes that the main aim of this year's event is to promote prevention and early diagnosis of mouth cancer by encouraging a healthy diet, smoking cessation, moderate alcohol intake and self-examination; further notes that local activities at district level are organised to this end, such as drives to reach people through local newspapers and radio; recognises that self-examination is key, since whilst only half of the 4,300 people who each year are diagnosed with mouth cancer are currently expected to survive, survival rates can be as high as 90 per cent. if the cancer is diagnosed early; and congratulates all the volunteers who will be taking part in the local events during this week.

This article published: 17/11/2023

Published by Bath Liberal Democrats, 31 James St West, Bath, BA1 2BT. Printed and hosted by JPC Infonet, 2 St Georges Works, Trowbridge, Wiltshire, BA14 8AA. Your Privacy._blank

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