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Public now happy to donate to 'preventable diseases', survey shows


Public now happy to donate to 'preventable diseases', survey shows

A new survey investigating attitudes towards cancer in the UK has found more than three times as many Brits would donate to a charity supporting diseases perceived as ‘preventable’ or ‘self-inflicted’ compared to seven years ago.

The poll, involving more than 2,000 British adults, suggests the public is now much more open in donating to cancers which have traditionally been linked with lifestyle choices such as smoking and alcohol.

The latest findings show that for nine in ten (92%) people, the cause of a cancer makes no difference when making a donation to a charity. This is in direct contrast to 2011, where the same researchers found a strong resistance, with more than one in four (27%) saying were less likely to donate to cancers understood to be more avoidable.

The Oral Health Foundation, a charity that campaigns for mouth cancer awareness, has seen donations increase by more than 80% in the last five years. Dr Nigel Carter, CEO of the Oral Health Foundation believes there is a greater acceptance that while you may be able to take steps to help reduce your risk, you cannot totally prevent cancer.

Dr Carter says: “Around nine in ten mouth cancer diagnoses are linked to lifestyle choices such as smoking tobacco and drinking excessive amounts of alcohol, however many cases might not have a direct cause.

“Typically, mouth cancer affects men over 40, however, we are seeing many more women and younger people being diagnosed. While there is a stereotype associated with mouth cancer, this is certainly not true of all cases. The fact is, mouth cancer can be diagnosed in anybody.

“Mouth cancer also bucks a cancer trend and we are seeing a severe increase in those being diagnosed. With a significant growth in the number of cases, more of us will know somebody with mouth cancer than previously. This personal connection to mouth cancer could be one of the main reasons why we are seeing a rise in donations."



Mouth Cancer Action Month runs throughout November and aims to increase awareness of the disease by encouraging everybody to be Mouthaware by being able to recognise and act on any unusual changes in the mouth.

More information about the charity campaign and mouth cancer, can be found at

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