Mouth cancer screening is more important than ever
Whilst mouth cancer is by no means the most common type of cancer affecting people today, figures show that the incidence is steadily increasing. So with the commencement of Mouth Cancer Action Month, which runs throughout the whole of November, we thought that there is no better time to remind you of the risks, the signs… and most importantly of all, of the potential life-saving benefits that come from having regular mouth cancer screening as part of your routine dental examinations.
As with any form of cancer early detection and prompt treatment can dramatically increase survival rates. Delays can be fatal and even life-saving surgery can result in severe life changing after effects.
At Carisbrook, our highly qualified dentists have all devoted many hours of their degree course to the study of oral cancers. They have also all attended regular post-qualification courses to reinforce their knowledge and to ensure that they keep abreast of new developments and treatments. As part of all our preventative dentistry routine dental examinations, our dentists include a simple mouth cancer screening procedure.
The dentist will check inside and outside your mouth for any signs of the disease. They will also examine your neck, below your chin and below your ears. If they do detect any signs of mouth cancer they will immediately refer you to your GP or to a specialist cancer clinic.
Who is most at risk?
Causes of mouth cancer vary from person to person, but what we can say is that people who brush their teeth only once a day – or less – are more likely to develop the disease. Likewise anyone who smokes and/or who drinks to excess also increases their risk of suffering from mouth cancer. Poor diet, chewing tobacco and chewing paan, which is common within some Asian communities, plus over-exposure to strong sun can all be contributing factors. There is also a proven genetic link, so if anyone in your family has ever suffered from oral cancer you should ensure you have regular mouth cancer screening.
There is more and more evidence showing that a healthy, balanced diet and sensible lifestyle can reduce your risk of developing cancers.
What should you look out for?
In addition to having mouth cancer screening at least twice a year as part of your preventative dentistry examination, there are certain symptoms you should look out for. These include: ulcers that do not heal after two weeks, pain or discomfort in your mouth, red or white patches in your mouth and lumps that appear in your neck. Our best advice though is to have regular mouth cancer screening at your dentist.
If you are worried about mouth cancer, or if any of your family has ever suffered from it, then please do not hesitate to speak to us to arrange mouth cancer screening – Mouth Cancer Action Month could not be a better time to contact us. You can call us on 0161 951 7295 or alternatively you can contact us by using the online form on our Appointments page.