There are lots of organisations, support groups, books, videos and other resources to help you cope with mouth and oropharyngeal cancer and treatment.
Cancer Research UK information and support
Cancer Research UK is the largest cancer research organisation in the world outside the USA. We fund research on all aspects of cancer from its causes to prevention and treatment.
We are committed to producing high quality information for people affected by cancer. As well as looking at the information on this website you can call our nurse freephone helpline on 0808 800 4040. They are available from Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm. Or you can send us a question online.
Cancer Chat is our online forum where you can share experiences.
Mouth and oropharyngeal support organisations
This UK charity provides support and information for people who have any form of facial disfigurement, including disfigurement caused by cancer.
Tel: 0300 0120 275 (support and advice line)
Skin camouflage service
Changing Faces runs a skin camouflage service, where trained volunteers can teach you how to apply specialist cover creams.
Tel: 0300 0120 276
Let's Face It provides support for people with facial disfigurement including those who have, or had, cancer.
Mouth Cancer Foundation is a charity that supports people affected by head and neck cancer. Its website has information about mouth, throat and other head and neck cancers. The website also has a forum and information on local support groups.
Tel: 01924 950 950 (Monday to Friday 9am - 5pm)
This UK based charity works to improve standards of mouth care. Their website has good information on cancer and caring for your mouth.
The Oral Health Foundation was called the British Dental Health Foundation until 2016.
Saving Faces is funding education and research to improve medical treatment and support for people after facial surgery.
Sometimes it can be helpful to talk to someone who has been in a similar situation. Saving Faces can put you in touch with other people who have had facial surgery.
Phone: 020 3417 7757
This UK charity has been set up by cancer specialists and people affected by head and neck cancer. They aim to raise awareness about head and neck cancer, provide information and advice, and act as a voice for people with head and neck cancer and their families. Their website also has stories from people with head and neck cancer.
General support organisations
This organisation has detailed information about camouflage cosmetics for people who need help to cover up scars and disfigurements after head and neck surgery. It also runs training courses for camouflage cosmeticians.
Tel.: 01254 703 107
Macmillan Cancer Support is a charity that gives practical, medical and financial support to people with cancer in the UK. Its helpline gives guidance on cancer and advice on benefits. It also publishes booklets about cancer and treatments. Information is available in other languages.
Freephone: 0808 808 00 00 (7 days a week, 8am to 8pm)
Contact email form
Samaritans offer a 24 hour service where you can talk to or webchat with someone about your feelings and issues.
Tel: 116 123
Organisations for help with cutting down on alcohol
Alcohol is one of the main risk factors for mouth and oesophageal cancers. There are many organisations to help you reduce or stop drinking alcohol.
The NHS offers information and support if you are concerned about your alcohol intake or you know someone who may need help.
There is information on the website about where to find support in your area.
Alcoholics Anonymous is a group of men and women who share their experiences and help others to recover from alcoholism.
Helpline: 0800 9177 650
Down Your Drink offers a simple test to help you make decisions about your drinking.
Alcohol Concern is a national agency that can help you to find resources in your area for issues with alcohol. They also work with the government to develop public policies around alcohol issues.
Tel: 020 3907 8480
Organisations for help with stopping smoking
Cancer Research UK has information on quitting smoking.
The NHS provides information, advice and support to help you give up smoking.
ASH is a portal for tobacco policies. It is a campaigning public health charity that is trying to stop the harm caused by tobacco.
Books about mouth and oropharyngeal cancer
J E Thomas and R L Keith
Thieme Medical Publishers, 2005
Information about cancer treatments and how to manage problems with speech and swallowing. It includes exercises for improving speech and swallowing, and tips on tube feeding.
The Mouth Cancer Foundation, 2009
This book has been produced by a patient Brenda Brady, and her husband, in association with the Mouth Cancer Foundation. It has tips for anyone who has difficulty chewing and swallowing food. It contains 40 pages of recipes from celebrity chefs and people who have had cancer.
E Carper, KS Hu and E Kuzin
Jones and Bartlett Publishers, 2007
ISBN: 978 0763743079
An American book that gives both doctor's and patient's views on treatment for head and neck cancer and quality of life, and much more.
Books about cancer treatment and side effects
Professor Bor, Dr Eriksen and C. Stapelkamp
Sheldon Press, 2010
ISBN 978 1847090973
This book addresses the painful emotions linked with a cancer diagnosis. It covers areas such as coping with distressing thoughts, learning to relax, family relationships and coping with an advanced cancer.
J Tobias and K Eaton
Follows the BBC TV series of the same name. Covers treatment, side effects and different types of cancer, including head and neck cancers.
Dr Terry Priestman
Sheldon Press, 2007
ISBN 978 0859699990
Gives information about radiotherapy, its side effects and how to cope with them. Also discusses the effect of radiotherapy on everyday life, including social life, work, travel, exercise and diet.
Dr Terry Priestman
Sheldon Press, 2009
ISBN 978 1847090805
Gives information about what chemotherapy is, how you have it and the side effects. A useful book for those about to start chemotherapy, and for their family members.
Booklets and factsheets
Cancer Research UK provides leaflets about signs, symptoms and causes of mouth cancer. It also describes what you can do to reduce your risk of the disease, and what happens if it is not treated.
The following leaflets are available:
- Detecting mouth cancer and how to reduce your risk
- Mouth cancer can affect you (in English and Urdu)
- Cancer in the mouth can affect you (in English and Bengali)
You can order them online or ring our leaflet enquiry line on 020 3469 8333.
Information is available as booklets, audiotapes and CDs.
- Understanding head and neck cancers
- Healthy eating and cancer
- Day to day life with advanced cancer
- Controlling cancer pain
- Controlling symptoms of cancer
- Lost for words - how to talk to someone with cancer
- Sexuality and cancer
- Understanding chemotherapy
- Understanding radiotherapy
- Coping with hair loss
- Coping with fatigue
- Understanding cancer research trials (clinical trials)
- The emotional effects of cancer
- Talking to children when an adult has cancer
- Talking about your cancer
- Life after cancer treatment
- Clinical trials
- MRI scan
- Eating well when you have cancer
- After treatment
Videos of people's stories
Find out about the experience of living with and beyond cancer by seeing and hearing people share their personal stories on film. Healthtalk’s researchers created a library of interviews with people who have survived for 5 years or more after a cancer diagnosis.
Find out what people said about issues such as lifestyle choices, physical effects and the impact on work and family.
Find local cancer support and information services
NHS Choices has a service that tells you about local information and support.