23rd July 2018
Cancer. We all know someone who has been affected by this devastating disease, with varying outcomes. However, even a good prognosis often requires the patient to undergo some degree of surgery or difficult treatment, it’s never plain sailing.
While it may seem fairly obvious that cancer can develop in any area of the body, many people just don’t realise that the soft tissues in the mouth area can also be affected.
At Mouth Matters in Chester, Cheshire, we are not only committed to raising awareness of oral and mouth cancers, but also to screening for it to help protect our patients against late diagnosis. Early detection is absolutely vital for the long-term survival following any cancer diagnosis, but especially so with oral cancers, in fact the survival rate jumps to 85% if caught in the early stages1.
How do we screen for oral cancer?
We carry out an oral cancer screening during every dental check up at Mouth Matters in Chester. As well as looking at the health of your teeth and gums, we also look at the areas of soft tissue such as inside the cheeks, the tongue, and under the tongue. We also feel around the neck area to check for any unusual lumps.
As you can see, coming to us for your regular dental check up covers much more than just your teeth. In fact, it could be life saving. If you have any questions about oral cancer, or how we screen for it, please ask your Mouth Matters dentist who will be more than happy to provide advice and guidance, explain the risk factors, and offer tips on what you can look out for yourself.
The symptoms of oral cancer
In between your appointments you can keep an eye out for various signs and symptoms of oral cancer yourself. Things to be aware of are:
• Red and white patches inside your mouth
• Ulcers or sores that do not heal within 14 days
• A lump in the neck
• Pain or bleeding in the mouth
• Difficulty swallowing
• Persistent pain in the throat or ear
• Speech problems1.
If you spot any of the above, call us straight away on 01244 343353 and we will book an appointment for you as soon as possible. It may not be anything to worry about, but as with anything in life, it is always better to be safe!
1. Oral Cancer The Royal Marsden, www.royalmarsden.nhs.uk/your-care/cancer-types/head-and-neck/oral-cancer