BOH Dental is on a campaign to raise awareness of oral cancer. As with most cancers, early detection is critical to survival. In recent years, awareness surrounding regular screenings for breast, prostate and cervical cancer has improved the chances of survival. At this stage oral cancer sufferers still experience a high mortality rate due to late detection.
Oral cancer (or Intra Oral Carcinoma) is vastly underestimated amongst most Australians, with many not realising that it accounts for a whopping 6.5% of all cancers diagnosed in Australia. At least three Australians are diagnosed with oral cancer every day, and due to the lack of awareness and early detection surrounding this disease, the survival rates are significantly lower than other forms of cancer.
What Can You Do?
Here’s where we get to the part that makes the big difference being aware. First of all, you need to be aware that oral cancer can affect anyone. There are certain lifestyle choices however, which could increase your chances of developing oral cancer. These are:
- Tobacco and alcohol use
- Human Papilloma Virus (a sexually transmitted virus)
- Sun exposure
The next BIG thing to be aware of is the symptoms that could indicate oral cancer. We recommend you take note of the following symptoms:
- Red or white patches in your mouth
- Any ulcer, blister or sore which doesn’t heal
- A lump (it may or may not be painful)
- Any pain or tenderness
- Numbness, tingling
- Difficulty/pain when swallowing or chewing
- Swollen lymph glands
- Or anything you feel is out of the ordinary
If you notice any of the above, we would urge you to come and see us immediately. Whilst it may be nothing, it is important that we rule out the possibility of oral cancer sooner rather than later. We cannot stress how important it is that you attend regular exams here at BOH Dental for an oral cancer screening.
Our dental professionals are trained to assess not only your teeth, but also all soft tissue including cheeks, gums, tongue, lymph nodes and salivary glands. BOH Dental will always provide an oral cancer screening as part of your regular oral exam.
One last thing you can do tell your family and friends! You never know what difference it could make.