Sheffield Dental Students Host Oral Cancer Awareness Week

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Last week dental students from Sheffield University hosted an awareness week to educate people about oral cancer; the initiative was part of Mouth Cancer Action Month, which will run until the end of November.

Members of Sheffield University Dental Students Society ran a week-long awareness campaign to alert people to the causes and symptoms of oral cancer, a disease, which is most prevalent among over 50’s, but is becoming increasingly common among younger people.

During the week, students ran stalls in The Hub and wore t-shirts to support the British Dental Health Foundation’s Mouth Cancer Action Month campaign and the Ben Walton Trust, which was set up in memory of Ben, who died from mouth cancer at the age of just 22 years old; they gave out leaflets and spoke to fellow students about oral cancer, the risks and symptoms and ways to reduce the risk of developing the potentially deadly disease.

Students also asked for donations and took part in a range of fundraising activities, including a bake-off, pyjama day and a charity football game; all the proceeds will be donated to the Ben Walton Trust.

Ben’s father, Mike, also visited the university to talk to students about the trust and the work it does to help people affected by mouth cancer.

President of the Dental Students Society, Kieran Bhakta, said that mouth cancer is becoming increasingly common among younger people due to the increased consumption of alcohol and exposure to the HPV (human papilloma virus), a virus which is spread through sexual contact and is also linked to cervical cancer.

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