Studies show that mouth cancer is on the increase and that early detection dramatically improves the chances of recovery. Late detection of mouth cancers has resulted in a higher proportion of deaths per number of cases than breast cancer, cervical cancer or skin melanoma, with about 2,700 deaths per year in the UK. Mouth cancer screening is a simple procedure performed at a dental practice that involves the following:
- A detailed analysis of your oral health history to determine any risk factors that you might have.
- A thorough examination of the outside of your mouth, head and neck by observation and touch.
- A thorough internal examination of your mouth, including the inside of your cheeks and under your tongue.
- A handheld scanning device may also be used to examine any lumps or lesions that you might have.
- Any inconclusive findings will be referred to a specialist consultant.
It is recommended that you come in for a screening on a yearly basis. If you have any sores, lumps or long-term ulcers in your mouth, no matter how small, it is very important that you come in to have it looked at. Because smoking is strongly linked with many forms of cancer and other dental problems, we always encourage our patients to quit smoking. An excellent source of information is the Mouth Cancer Foundation if you require any further information.
- Early detection of oral cancer dramatically improves the prognosis.
- Sustained good oral health.
- Sustained good general health.