Mouth cancer is a serious condition and on the increase. This can be disfiguring, or fatal, although nine cases in ten are treated successfully.
The key, as with all cancers, is early detection and dental staff are at the front line. All our team members are trained on detecting oral cancers, including our experienced dental hygienists and therapists.
During normal dental appointments, we always include an examination of your head and neck, to check for the early signs of mouth cancer. Part of taking your oral and general wellbeing seriously.
You can also raise any concerns you have during a visit, our staff take the time you need to discuss them. Being personally “mouthaware” is a further asset, things can change between check ups.
Mouth cancer can appear in the lips, gums, tongue, or cheeks, or in the throat at the back of your mouth, a condition known as oropharyngeal cancer. Symptoms can show in your neck, or lower throat.
Red, or white patches in your mouth could be a concern, or ulcers which do not heal within a few weeks. Any type of lump, or swelling in the mouth, head, or neck equally deserves investigation.
There are known contributors to oral cancer, smoking, excessive alcohol, infection with the HPV virus, or a related family history. Even so, anyone could have an issue, so we should all check regularly.
Whilst cancers are logically grouped, they are also individual. Symptoms that are unusual for you matter and if you notice anything concerning, please come to see us as soon as possible, time is a critical factor.
A Supportive Approach
The chances are that symptoms you find are not cancerous in nature but you are in no sense wasting our time, or yours by arranging a visit.
Knowing there’s nothing to worry about is good, or symptoms may relate to other conditions which warrant treatment. Suggestions on diet, or lifestyle can also be useful, if you would like us to offer them.
With a 40% rise in diagnosis over the last ten years, we simply want to do all we can to support our patients. Regular dental check ups and being aware of possible problems are the route to successful treatment.
Modern science is helping, through improvements on established treatments and research into new approaches, such as biological, or genetic therapy. The best safeguard you have is still early detection.