As you get older, your chances of mouth and oral cancers increase. These cancers grow quickly and need to be dealt with as soon as possible. They are also directly linked to people’s lifestyles, and the number of cases is on the rise. Smoking and alcohol are factors in oral cancer along with other causes.
At Amsel and Wilkins we routinely include this screening as part of your dental examination. Anyone over about the age of 35 should have a mouth cancer screening once a year, we are promoting mouth cancer screening in November this year, as it is Mouth Cancer Action Month.
You don’t necessarily have to come to us for a screening in November, but you need to make sure you have a screening some time during the coming year.
What happens during a screening?
We take a careful look at your lips and inside your mouth. We will use a small angled mirror so that we can take a good look at your tongue and underneath it, the back of your throat, your lips, your gums and the inside of your cheeks. We will also feel with our fingers into your neck and chin.
We will be looking for any unusual lumps and bumps or lesions. We will also want to know if you have noticed any problems, not just lumps and ulcers that won’t heal, but any recent changes to your voice, such as hoarseness.
Who gets mouth cancer?
Mouth cancer is directly linked to smoking and to alcohol use. It is also linked to a poor diet (not enough fruit and veg), and obesity and also the HPV virus.
Although mouth cancers are fast growing, if caught early they are eminently treatable, which is why we encourage you to come for check-ups at least once a year. But if, between check-ups, you notice something that is not right and doesn’t clear up after 3 weeks, come and see us anyway. We can do a check, and, if at all necessary, send you for treatment.