Are you checking your mouth for signs of cancer?
When it comes to breast or testicular cancer, the message is clear: self-examination is one of the best ways to detect potential signs of the disease. Knowing our bodies and what is normal for us as individuals is crucial in helping us to recognise potential symptoms that may need to be discussed with a GP.
Cases of mouth cancer are rapidly increasing in the UK. More people suffer from the disease than testicular and cervical cancers. So why aren’t more people taking note and self-examining? It is quick and easy to spot signs of mouth cancer.
We have produced a step-by-step guide to checking your own mouth
Our video shows how you can check your own mouth for signs of mouth cancer.
Early detection is the first line of defence
Simple mouth checks can save lives. Our dentists should be doing this as part of our routine dental check-ups. But we can help ourselves to stay healthy, too. We should all examine our mouths as part of our oral health and hygiene routine.
That way, if you do spot something out of the ordinary or that you are not sure about, you can book an appointment with your doctor ASAP and get it checked out.
Early detection of mouth cancers may mean less drastic surgery and a quicker return to health.
Understanding the symptoms and signs of the disease is crucial, along with knowing what parts of the mouth to check and how. Checking for the potential signs of mouth cancer is quick, easy and painless.
What should I be looking for when I check my mouth?
The main things to look for are:
- Mouth ulcers that do not heal within three weeks
- Red and white patches inside the mouth
- Unusual lumps or swellings in the mouth or on the tongue
If you spot any of these and are at all concerned speak with your GP immediately.