We're taking part in a UK-wide campaign during November to raise awareness of mouth cancer. Every week during "Mouth Cancer Action Month", we'll be posting our team's #BlueLipSelfies on facebook, speaking to patients in the clinic, and writing a wee blog like this!
Be Mouthaware: the key to spotting cancer early
As with many cancers, early detection is critical as it means the chances of a cure are good. Every time you come to City Health Clinic for a dental check-up, our dentists will check your mouth for signs and symptoms - it's one of the reasons that regular check-ups are so important. It's also crucial that you become "mouthaware" yourself - take a minute or two in front of the mirror to check inside your mouth. Mouth Cancer Action Month have produced a handy guide to what to look for:
If you spot any of these signs, please make an appointment to see us straight away. Our friendly team will always take your concerns seriously and we'll fit you in as quickly as possible. Your dentist will examine the inside of your mouth and your tongue with the help of a small mirror. They can see see parts of your mouth that you cannot see easily yourself.
If one of our dentists finds something unusual, we would refer you to a hospital consultant in Edinburgh. The consultant would carry out a thorough examination of your mouth and throat. A small sample of the cells may be gathered from the area (a biopsy), and these cells will be examined under the microscope to check if anything wrong.
If the cells are cancerous, more tests will be carried out. These may include overall health checks, blood tests, x-rays or scans. These tests will help the consultant to decide what course of treatment is needed next.
The key with mouth cancer is to spot it early - this greatly improves the chances of a complete cure. The smaller the area. lump or ulcer, the better the chances of a cure. In short, please Be Mouthaware.