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Blue lip selfies raise awareness of mouth cancer

01 December 2014


British Dental Journal   217, 552 (2014) 
Published online: 21 November 2014 | doi:10.1038/sj.bdj.2014.1015

Blue lip selfies raise awareness of mouth cancer

Blue lip selfies raise awareness of mouth cancer

Ben Atkins, James Mehta and Professor Elizabeth Kay sporting blue lips at the launch of Mouth Cancer Action Month

This November is Mouth Cancer Action Month, and to raise awareness this year, MPs, dental professionals and the general public have been encouraged to don a pair of blue lips and take a 'blue lip selfie'.

Oral health charity the British Dental Health Foundation launched the campaign at the House of Commons on 28 October to continue the fight against a disease that has increased by 50% in the last decade alone.

Chief Executive of the Foundation, Dr Nigel Carter OBE, said: 'The blue lip selfies are a really good way of getting people interested in what the campaign is about. The reality is we are facing more cases and more deaths from mouth cancer than ever before, and we need the help of the profession to curb these statistics'.

The Foundation believes that if people are aware of changes in their mouth, and in particular ulcers that do not heal within three weeks, lumps or swellings and red and white patches in the mouth, they are in a better position to act quickly.

Mouth cancer sufferer Jacky Merrison spoke at the event, along with Emma Riley, a former oral health practitioner for the Pennine Trust, and representatives from campaign sponsors and supporters.

Sponsor Denplan has launched a special Facebook app at for the campaign where users can customise selfies with blue cartoon lips and share them on the gallery. Selfies can also be shared on social media using the hashtag #bluelipselfie to help raise awareness of the disease.

More information on the campaign can be found at

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