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News / September 19, 2018

Mouth Cancer Awareness Day 2018 targets men over 50

by Guy Hiscott

This year’s Mouth Cancer Awareness Day (MCAD) is targeting one of the most at-risk groups for mouth cancer: men over the age of 50.

Teaming up with Irish Men Shed’s Association (IMSA), MCAD is encouraging men 50+ to attend their dentist and help curb undetected diagnoses.

Around 700 people diagnosed with head and neck cancer are detected in Ireland each year, with 100 or more deaths – almost two people every week.

Dr Eleanor O’Sullivan, senior lecturer of oral Surgery at Cork University Dental School & Hospital, says: ‘This year’s campaign is putting a particular emphasis on men who have not attended their local dentist for a while. We’re encouraging them to attend their dentist or doctor if they have any concerns and to have regular dental check-ups even if they have no remaining natural teeth.

‘Dentists have volunteered to give talks to “Shedders” in up to 20 Men’s’ Sheds around the country on various dates during the month of September, which is excellent, and we hope many more will happen in subsequent months.’

Edel Byrne, health and wellbeing manager with the IMSA, is delighted to be associated with this year’s mouth cancer initiative from the Irish Dental Association (IDA).

Edel says: ‘While mouth cancer is a very detectable disease, it’s not widely known that it’s the sixth most common cancer in men worldwide.

‘Raising awareness is key and we will be encouraging our members to attend their local shed meeting where a dentist will give advice and talk to members about mouth cancer.

‘Men’s Sheds promotes better mental and physical health for our members through our Sheds for Life initiative, and this latest initiative fits perfectly with that.’

According to the National Cancer Registry in Ireland, approximately 50% of all mouth cancers are diagnosed at an advanced stage.

Mouth Cancer Awareness Day 2018 is on Wednesday 19 September. For more information, visit