November is Mouth Cancer Action month and The Dental Surgery team wants to remind you to take care of your health. If you see blue ribbon on your dentist uniform, you can tell it is November. We encourage our patients to be part of #BlueLipselfie# campaign on Twitter.
Over 6,500 people are diagnosed with mouth cancer every year in the UK. The risk of developing mouth cancer increases with age, and it affects more men than women.
What is mouth cancer?
Mouth cancer includes cancer that starts anywhere in your mouth, including:
• your lips;
• your tongue;
• your gums;
• under your tongue;
• inside your cheeks and lips;
• the roof of your mouth (the hard palate);
• the area behind your wisdom teeth.
Mouth cancer can often be spotted in its early stages by your dentist during a thorough mouth examination. If mouth cancer is recognised early, then the chances of a cure are good. Many people with mouth cancer go to their dentist or doctor too late.
The dentist examines the inside of your mouth and your tongue with the help of a small mirror. Remember, your dentist is able to see parts of your mouth that you cannot see easily yourself.
How to reduce the risk?
The Dental Surgery team suggests tips how to reduce your risk of mouth cancer:
• Stop using tobacco or don’t start. The use of tobacco (in various forms, including both cigarettes and smokeless tobacco).
• Drink alcohol only in moderation, if at all. Alcohol intake (3 ounces or more in a day) increases the risk of cancer manifold. If you choose to drink alcohol, limit yourself to one drink a day if you’re a woman or two drinks a day if you’re a man.
• Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables. Choose a diet rich in fruits and vegetables Inadequate levels of vitamins A and C, vegetables and fruits in the diet may also contribute to the chances of developing oral cancer.
• Avoid excessive sun exposure to your lips. Protect the skin on your lips from the sun by staying in the shade when possible. Wear a broad-brimmed hat that effectively shades your entire face, including your mouth. High exposure to ultraviolet light increases the risk of developing cancer of the lower lip.
• See your dentist regularly. As part of a routine dental exam, ask your dentist to inspect your entire mouth for abnormal areas that may indicate mouth cancer or precancerous changes.
How we diagnose mouth cancer?
Tests and procedures used to diagnose mouth cancer include: physical exam. Our dentist will examine your lips and mouth to look for abnormalities — areas of irritation, such as sores and white patches (leukoplakia).
Removal of tissue for testing. If a suspicious area is found our dentist may remove a sample of cells for laboratory testing in a procedure called a biopsy. Unusual cells can be scraped away with a brush or cut away using a scalpel. In the laboratory, the cells are analyzed for cancer or precancerous changes that indicate a risk of future cancer. We also use a system called Velscope to help assist us in diagnosing any tissue abnormalities such as oral cancer.
Contact our team for check-up: 020 7680 1800; firstname.lastname@example.org
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