Mouth Cancer Action Month 2023
By DTA | 30th October 2023 | News
Mouth Cancer Action Month is held in November every year and is supported by the Mouth Cancer Foundation and the Oral Health Foundation. Get ready to raise awareness!
The Mouth Cancer Foundation is dedicated to raising awareness, educating and promoting the early detection of mouth cancer as well as supporting those affected by it.
There are over 8864 new cases in the UK each year, each year 3034+ lives are lost to Mouth Cancer and Mouth Cancer affects 650,000 people per year worldwide.
You can help raise awareness by downloading a variety of free leaflets, posters and educational resources from the Mouth Cancer Foundation website.
WHAT IS MOUTH CANCER?
This is the general term given to the variety of malignant tumours that develop in the mouth, (oral cavity). The Mouth Cancer Foundation promotes awareness of all head and neck cancers i.e. throat (pharynx), voice box (larynx), salivary glands, nose, nasal, sinuses, lips and skin.
2 Minute self-examination
All you need is a mirror, a good light source and clean fingers.
Look at the whole face. Are there any swellings you haven't noticed before? Inspect your skin. Has anything changed recently? Have moles become larger or started to itch or bleed? Turn your head from side to side. This stretches the skin over the muscles making lumps easier to see.
Run the fingers under your jaw and feel along the large muscle either side of neck using the balls of your fingers. Are there any swellings? Does everything feel the same on both sides?
Using your index, middle fingers and thumb to feel the inside of your mouth. Pull your upper lip upwards and bottom lip downwards to look inside for any sores or changes in colour. Use your thumb and forefinger to feel around and inside your lips checking for any lumps, bumps or changes in texture.
Use your thumb and forefinger on the inside and outside of the gum working your way around the gum to feel for anything unusual.
Open your mouth and pull your cheeks away, one side at a time, with your finger to look inside. Look for any red or white patches. Use your finger in the cheek to check for ulcers, lumps or tenderness. Repeat on the other side. Your tongue can be helpful to locate sore areas, ulcers or rough patches.
Gently pull out your tongue and look at one side first and then the other. Look for any swelling, ulcer or change in colour. Examine the underside of your tongue by lifting the tip of your tongue to the roof of your mouth.
FLOOR OF THE MOUTH
Lift your tongue up and look underneath then look at the floor of your mouth for any colour changes that are unusual. Gently press your finger along the floor of your mouth and underside your tongue to feel for any lumps, swellings or ulcers.
ROOF OF THE MOUTH
Tilt back your head and open your mouth wide to check the roof of your mouth. Look to see if there are changes in colour or ulcers. Check for changes in texture with your finger.
Make a note of anything unusual. If you have recently had a cold, sore throat, ulcer or swollen glands, bitten or scolded yourself for example, these should heal within 3 weeks. If you have any concerns visit your dentist or doctor to see if you need specialist advice.
The Mouth Cancer Foundation recommends that everyone over the age of 16 has a professional examination for early signs of mouth cancer, once a year, at their dentist.