Oral Cancer Screening
Oral cancers are on the rise!
Is this because we are getting better at finding them?, or is it that people are more aware and visiting the dentist more frequently? …… I suspect it’s a combination of both.
The head and neck are well served with blood vessels and lymph drainage which make oral cancers a high-risk cancer. Common sites for mouth cancers are on the floor of the mouth, and under the tongue, and let’s be honest, who else but your friendly dentist looks here??
Cancer risk factors are the same as elsewhere in the body and include drinking alcohol, smoking and history of primary cancers in other sites as well as family history.
People with no teeth are not immune from oral cancer and it is recommended that denture wearers are checked annually, and perhaps more regularly if they fall into a high-risk category.
We all watch moles on our skin, regularly do breast examinations, and post 50, colonoscopy is a vital monitoring tool for bowel cancers. Your mouth is just the other end of the same long tube!
Visit your dentist regularly for an oral health screening. Prevention is always better than cure.