Patient stories

Mouth Cancer Action Month is dedicated to raising awareness of the disease and informing the public on how to lower their risk. Over the years it has also been a valuable platform for survivors to tell their stories and make you aware of what you could go through. Here are some of the people who have shared their story.


David Shakesby 

The fight against mouth cancer is a hard and difficult task but with his family and friends by his side every step of the way David Shakesby was determined to emulate his sci-fi idols and battle it bravely.

Read David’s Story

Christine-Gundry(small)Victor Middleton

Victor Middleton (70), from Brighton, was diagnosed with mouth cancer on 23 December 2014. Traditionally linked to smoking and excessive alcohol use, Victor was shocked to discover that the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), transmitted through oral sex, is also a major cause of mouth cancer. Victor presented with all three risk factors.

Read Victor’s Story

Christine-Gundry(small)Christine Gundry

As a PhD student researching cancer, Christine had heard time and time again the latest cancer statistics and the latest idea of how to ‘beat’ cancer. However, it never crossed her mind that as healthy and happy 25 year old she would be diagnosed with oral cancer. She told her story in her own words from a unique perspective – patient and researcher.

Read Christine’s Story

Tracey-StearTracey Stear

An early detection transforms survival rates from as low as 50 per cent to up to 90 per cent. 51 year-old Tracey Stear from Plymouth is one mouth cancer survivor who puts her successful battle down to early detection. She spoke out to support Mouth Cancer Action Month and encourage others to follow her lead. Her advice? “Never ignore it, and go and get checked out.”

Read Tracey’s Story

Rachel-ParsonsRachel Parsons

Many people believe in fate or destiny. Few can offer a reason for doing so without retorting ‘just because I do’. For 42-year-old mother of five Rachel Parsons from Coventry, the answer is much more sincere. On Boxing Day 2007 Rachel first noticed a lump in her mouth. Having heard of mouth cancer and the symptoms, she knew she needed to get checked out.

Read Rachel’s Story


Gordon Mullen

In 2006, Gordon Mullen knew something wasn’t quite right in his mouth, yet he couldn’t quite put his finger on what it was. Fortunately for him, during a routine check up, his dentist could. “I’d had an ulcer on my tongue during October and November 2006, and the first biopsy came back ok. The diagnosis was an allergy. By the end of 2007 it hadn’t gone.

Read Gordon’s Story

Sally-BraggSally Bragg

Sally Bragg has a very different perception of life after being diagnosed with cancer of the cheek in 1998. At the time, Sally had never heard of mouth cancer. Sally’s experience at the age of 37 provides a harrowing reminder that mouth cancer can affect anyone. “From the moment I was diagnosed, I knew my life would change forever.”

Read Sally’s Story