Oral cancer risk infomercial for young people
NHS Lanarkshire’s health improvement department has produced a short infomercial aimed at young people to highlight the importance of regularly checking your mouth and looking out for the signs and symptoms of mouth cancer.
The animation, developed in partnership with the Coatbridge Peer Education Group and Community Learning and Development, North Lanarkshire, provides useful information on the steps to take to lower the risk of getting mouth cancer. The new resource was funded by The Ben Walton Scholarship and Development Grant hosted by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons in Glasgow.
Anne Moore, NHS Lanarkshire’s Director of Dentistry, said: “I welcome this initiative to raise awareness of mouth cancer in the younger generation as, sadly, we are seeing more and more young people being diagnosed with this condition where crucially early detection and diagnosis is key to better outcomes.”
Heather Meechan, a member of the Coatbridge group, said: “We weren’t aware of mouth cancer and wanted to get involved to raise awareness. The animation gives great advice on how to cut down on the risk.”
As well as looking out for the signs and symptoms, the infomercial encourages young people to practise some risk-lowering behaviours such as getting to know their mouth through self-examination, not smoking, watching what they drink and practicing safer sex. Importantly, it encourages young people to go and see a dentist if they are worried.
Susan Lyttle, Senior Health Promotion Officer (Oral Health), who was the first winner of the Ben Walton Scholarship and used her £3,000 award to fund the Lanarkshire project, said: “It was wonderful being part of this partnership project. I think the young peer educators have done an amazing job. I’m very impressed with the animation and hope it raises awareness among young people.”
Coatbridge peer educators Eva Findlay, Cathryn O’Neill and Heather Meechan along with youth workers Kimberley Honeyman and Kirsty McKenny, youth work senior Amy Reynolds, North Lanarkshire Council, and Susan Lyttle, NHS Lanarkshire’s Senior Health Promotion Officer