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What you can expect at a mouth cancer screening appointment

Posted by Default Admin on 20 November 2014 | 0 Comments


This month is Mouth Cancer Action month and with this in mind, now would be a good time to make a mouth cancer screening appointment at your dentist.

In the UK, more than 6,700 people were diagnosed with mouth cancer last year. The disease has grown by a third in the last decade and remains one of very few cancers which are predicted to increase further within the next 10 years.

Here at Chiswick Dental we carry out mouth cancer screening as a matter of routine. Whenever we see you for a dental check-up, the dentist will carefully examine the tissues inside your mouth, your gums and tongue for any potentially suspicious ulcers.

During an oral exam, your dentist will look inside of your mouth to check for red or white patches or mouth sores. Your dentist will feel the tissues in your mouth to check for lumps or other abnormalities.

Many people have abnormal sores in their mouths, so don’t worry if you are one of them because more often than not these sores are non-cancerous.

An oral examination can't determine which sores are cancerous and which are not. If your dentist finds an unusual sore, they will refer you to the hospital for further testing to determine its cause. The only way to definitively determine whether you have oral cancer is to remove some abnormal cells and test them for cancer in a procedure called a biopsy.

Who should consider oral cancer screening?

People with a high risk of oral cancer may be more likely to benefit from oral cancer screening, though studies haven't clearly proved that. Factors that can increase the risk of oral cancer include:

  • Tobacco use of any kind, including cigarettes, cigars, pipes, chewing tobacco and snuff, among others
  • Heavy alcohol use
  • Previous oral cancer diagnosis

If you have any concerns about mouth cancer you should discuss these at your next appointment and we can give advice on ways in which you can reduce your risk of oral cancer, such as quitting smoking or cutting down on the cigarettes and alcohol.

If you are in doubt, call us on 0208 987 9977 and get checked out, straight away.

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