21 Nov Mouth Cancer: Improving Early Diagnosis. What to Look For.
At Bridgeways Dental we are committed to supporting the local community in Southampton and surrounding areas of Hampshire and the New Forest. November is “Mouth Cancer Action Month” hosted by the Oral Health Foundation. Aiming to raise awareness of mouth cancer and attempting to improve the numbers of mouth cancers diagnosed in their earliest stages.
This is the final part of a three-part blog series. Part One looks at the incidence of mouth cancer in the UK, and Part Two discusses the risk factors and includes lifestyle changes you can make to improve your health and reduce your risk.
The earlier a cancer is diagnosed and treatment started, the greater the chance of beating it are – in fact, if caught early survival rates are as high as 90%. Unfortunately, although more people have heard of mouth cancer, still too few are aware of changes in their mouths which they should get checked out. The Oral Health Foundation slogan is to be “mouthaware”; if you notice anything unusual, then see a health professional for advice as soon as you can.
What does it look like?
Mouth cancer can affect any part of the lips, gums, tongue, floor of the mouth, inside of the cheeks, and tongue. There are three things you must always look out for, and should not ignore:
- Ulcers that do not heal. If you have an ulcer present for more than three weeks, be sure to get it checked out. There are some other causes of persistent ulceration such as trauma from broken fillings or teeth, which your dental professional can check for.
- Red or white patches in the mouth. Your dental professional will assess whether any unusual red, white or mixed patches in your mouth are suspicious and make an urgent referral if necessary. Do not worry, as there are many causes of patches in the mouth, such as cheek-biting, or use of steroid asthma inhalers.
- Unusual swellings or lumps in the head or neck. If you develop a lump it is always worth getting checked out. It may be linked to a number of things, including a dental abscess, so see your dental professional for an assessment if you are unsure of anything.
How Do I Check?
You should regularly check the following areas for signs of change:
As part of our commitment to raising awareness and improving early detection rates, Bridgeways Dental is offering free oral cancer screening appointments for all during the month of November. Contact us on 02380868833 to book your appointment now, quoting Mouth Cancer Screening.
Contact Bridgeways Dental on 02380 868833 for your free oral cancer screen during November.