Performing a Monthly Oral Cancer Self Check
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Performing a Monthly Oral Cancer Self Check

Woman's mouth with tongue sticking outReceiving an oral cancer diagnosis can be scary, but the prognosis is often much better the earlier the cancer is caught. Because of this, it’s important to know the signs and symptoms of oral cancer as well as how to perform an oral cancer self-check every month.

Checking your mouth for signs of oral cancer is even more important if you have any of the risk factors that can put you at a higher risk of developing oral cancer. These risk factors include:

  • Smoking or chewing tobacco
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Overexposure to UV Rays
  • Habit of biting or chewing on the cheeks or lips

Performing an Oral Cancer Self Check

Below are the 6 areas you need to look at in order to perform a thorough self-check:

  1. Lips – Check the inside and outside of both the upper and lower lips for any changes in skin color. Press the lips to feel for any lumps or bumps.
  2. Cheeks – Check the insides of the cheeks for color changes or sores. Squeeze or press your cheeks to feel for lumps or tender areas.
  3. Neck – Press gently but firmly along the sides and front of your neck to check for any tender areas or lumps.
  4. Face – Examine the skin of your face and make not of any sores, lumps, bumps, or color changes.
  5. Mouth – Use your finger to check the roof and floor of your mouth for lumps or bumps. Use a mirror to check for any sores or color changes on the skin.
  6. Tongue – Feel and examine the top, sides, and bottom of your tongue for lumps or swelling. Note any changes in texture or color.

If you’ve noticed anything out of the ordinary, it’s important to visit your general dentist for an oral cancer screening. Again, the earlier the cancer is caught, the better your prognosis might be.

To make an appointment here at Lockett Orthodontics, please contact our Colorado Springs, Colorado orthodontics office today.

Posted on May 24, 2018

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