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3 Actions for Oral Cancer Action Month

3 Actions for Oral Cancer Action Month

 

For Oral Cancer Action Month, we want to make conversations about cancer prevention commonplace—both inside and outside our Saskatoon clinic. Providing you with the best dental care means talking with you about the risks of oral cancer and making sure you understand how to prevent it, as well as how to catch it early. Share these 3 Actions with your friends and family so more people know about mouth cancer and fewer people suffer from it.

 

What is oral cancer?

Oral cancer is one form of cancer that may present in many different ways, affecting any part of the mouth, including the lips, tongue, cheeks and throat. It can affect anyone but is more common in men over 40.

In 2020, an estimated 5,400 Canadians were diagnosed with oral cavity cancer. This is the 11th most common cancer in the world with over 640,000 cases diagnosed worldwide annually.

 

1. Know how to catch mouth cancer early

Pay close attention to what’s going on in your mouth by taking a good look every time you brush your teeth. That way, if anything abnormal presents at any time, you’ll notice. Screen for any of the following signs, and seek a dental exam immediately if you notice any:

  • ulcers that do not heal within three weeks
  • any unusual red or white patches
  • lumps in your neck or jaw area
  • persistent hoarseness

 

2. Schedule regular dental checkups and cleanings

Mouth cancer can often be noticed in its early stages by your dental care team during a thorough mouth examination. During your regular check-up, your dentist will examine the inside of your mouth, under your jawn and your neck. Remember, your dentist can see parts of your mouth that you might easily miss yourself, so regular visits give you the best chance at an early diagnosis, which could save your life.

 

3. Understand the causes of mouth cancer so you can reduce your risk

There are many possible causes of mouth cancer including alcohol consumption and smoking or chewing tobacco products on a regular basis. Over-exposure to sunlight can also increase risk of cancer to the lips. Mouth cancers are also linked with human papillomavirus (HPV) which is spread through oral sex.

 

Ways to reduce your risk of oral cancer:

  • Practice safe sex to reduce your chances of contracting HPV.
  • Look into the HPV vaccine to see if it could be right for your preteen children. This vaccine was developed to fight cervical cancer but can also protect against mouth cancer.
  • Reduce alcohol consumption.
  • Reduce tobacco use.
  • Eat a balanced diet with lots of fruit and veg every day.
  • Visit your dentist regularly.

Join the fight against oral cancer and commit to these 3 Actions! For a full oral cancer screening, schedule your exam and cleaning at NEESH Dental.

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