April is the oral cancer awareness month; so let’s talk about the C word.

Yes, anyone can have oral cancer or cancer in their mouths. Mouths are entries to the body and no exception (unfortunately) to various types of cancer.

Every time that you go to a dentist for examination, your mouth is to be examined for potential signs. A thorough examination includes your lips, tongue, floor of the mouth, inside of the cheeks,  the palate and the throat.

There are different ways of checking those of course which varies from visual inspection to using rinses or devices such as Velscope.

But what would be most helpful is if everyone would pay attention to their lips and mouths every day as they’re brushing or grooming their heads. You want to notice any dark pigmentation on the lip that are not just a mole or freckle. You want to make sure that any ulcers that may be present at one point, do go away. Typically any type of abnormality seen in the mouth should clear out within 2 weeks. If not, often times, we want to have more tests done to determine the underlying issue causing the symptom.

Sometimes symptoms may be different however, in the form of a sore throat that does not go away at all or hoarseness in the voice that’s not initiated by any trauma or severe cough for instance. Lumps, just like anywhere else in the body, are not to be ignored. Lumps could be under the tongue, on the tongue sometimes, in the throat area.

Some people have higher risk for oral cancer of course: smokers, those constantly in the sun, ones with HPV infections in the past, poor dieters, and everyone’s nemesis: age.

This information is to just remind us all that we should not forget our mouths when it comes to cancer screening. We should be aware of changes in the mouth and monitor it just as any other part of our bodies.

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