The Oral Cancer Foundation estimates that close to 42,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral or pharyngeal cancer this year. Oral cancer’s mortality is particularly high, not because it is hard to detect or diagnose, but because the cancer is often discovered late in its development. Your oral surgeon is in superb position to detect oral cancer during your routine dental examinations.
Everyone should perform an oral cancer self-exam each month. An oral examination is performed using a bright light and a mirror:
When performing self-examination, look for the following:
Your mouth is one of your body's most important early warning systems. Don't ignore any suspicious lumps or sores. Should you discover something, make an appointment for a prompt examination. Early treatment may well be the key to complete recovery.