Thanks to everyone who’s written to me about the honorary doctorate conferred by Trinity last week. I don’t usually write about the Mouth Cancer awareness campaign on this blog but I’ll make an exception now.
The doctorate was awarded in recognition of work I’ve done with others in raising public awareness about the signs, symptoms and effects of mouth, head and neck cancers in Ireland. The key phrase there is ‘with others’. I felt many hands on that scroll when I accepted it. I’ve been privileged to work with many people who, like me, have been diagnosed with and treated for those diseases and have had to adapt to startling and often difficult after-effects. Some of us are lucky enough to be still here. Others are not. Every one of us has played a part in raising awareness.
The campaign began in the Dublin Dental Hospital (DDUH), which is part of Dublin University (i.e.Trinity College), but it soon extended to include Cork University Dental Hospital (CUDH), the Irish Dental Association, the Dental Health Foundation and the Irish Cancer Society. All of the people from those organizations who have worked on the campaign had a hand on the scroll too.
In 2013 we published Word of Mouth, a guide to surviving and coping with oral cancers written by people who have been through treatment and the professionals involved in their care. The book is available free to download here
Since the first national Mouth Cancer Awareness Day (MCAD) in 2010, thousands of people have been checked for signs of cancer and many cancers have been detected, along with many more pre-cancerous conditions which, once recognised, can be monitored.
This year, MCAD will be Wednesday, 21st September.
The IDA has a MCAD facebook page.
More information here