The study, which asked more than 800 people in the UK to rank in order of preference which cancers they were most likely to support, found that just two cancers made up almost two thirds (62 per cent) of the total favoured donations.
In a list made up of the ten most prominent cancers, nearly half who would donate to a cancer charity (46 per cent) said they were more likely to support breast cancer while one in seven (16 per cent) chose lung cancer.
The survey revealed that only a third (38 per cent) of all respondents said they would be more likely to donate to another cancer charity – leaving it increasing difficult for some smaller charities to raise funds for research and awareness campaigns.
Results also found that cervical cancer featured highly on the list, with almost half of respondents (43 per cent), favouring it in their top three. The figures suggest that female cancers are more widely supported than male-associated cancers.
Of the other cancers, the findings showed that only one in 33 (3 per cent) would be more likely to donate to skin cancer, one in 25 (4 per cent) to testicular and brain cancers while one in 20 (5 per cent) preferred to support prostate and bowel cancers.
Cancer of the liver received votes from only three people in the survey, making it the least chosen of the cancers on the list while mouth cancer obtained just eight votes.
The UK’s leading oral health charity, the British Dental Health Foundation, who organise and run Mouth Cancer Action Month throughout November, with support from Denplan, said the research was concerning and are encouraging more people to support their cause.
Chief Executive of the Foundation, Dr Nigel Carter, said: “Unfortunately, the recession and a squeeze on household incomes have meant that some charities have financially suffered as a result. Now, more than ever, instead of donating to a number of charities, some people might choose to prioritise just one, and as the results of this study have shown, mouth cancer is rarely thought upon.
“Regular donations are a vital part of our fundraising efforts. Mouth cancer is now diagnosed in 6,000 people in the UK every year, and without early detection half will die. It is important that we continue to raise awareness to the early warning signs of the disease, as well as the risk factors – to be able to do this, we are asking for your continued support and increasing donations.”
The survey also showed one in four people were less likely to support cancers which are seen as preventable.
Dr Carter added: “This is especially worrying, as three quarters of mouth cancer cases arise from smoking and excess drinking. Bad diet and the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), which is a sexually transmitted disease, also contribute to developing the disease. Although in most cases, we can largely prevent the chances of developing mouth cancer by avoiding the risk factors, those that are diagnosed still need our support and should not be overlooked.”
Almost one in five people (17 per cent) who took part in the survey said that they do not donate to cancer charities.