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The Importance of Monthly Oral Cancer Self-Checks

Woman at dental check-upReceiving a cancer diagnosis is never easy. However, if caught early, oral cancer can be much more easily treated. Because of this, it’s important that you know how to perform regular oral cancer self-checks and the signs and symptoms to look out for.

First, you should be aware of the risk factors that can increase your risk of developing oral cancer. If you participate in the following activities, you should be even more vigilant about your oral cancer self-checks. These risk factors can include:

  • Alcohol abuse
  • Smoking or chewing tobacco
  • Biting or chewing the lips or insides of the cheeks
  • Excessive exposure to UV Rays

Performing an Oral Cancer Self-Check

There are six simple steps to performing a thorough oral cancer self-check. These are:

  1. Tongue – Look at and feel the top, sides, and bottom of your tongue for any swelling, bumps, or tenderness. Check for any color or texture changes, as well.
  2. Lips – Examine the outsides and insides of the upper and lower lips for any sores or changes in color or texture. Press the lips to check for bumps or lumps.
  3. Cheeks – Look at the insides of your cheeks for color changes or sores. Press and squeeze the cheeks to check for bumps or tenderness.
  4. Mouth – Use your fingers to check the roof and floor of your mouth for bumps. Using a mirror, look to see if you can find any sore or changes in color.
  5. Neck – Press along the sides and front of the neck to feel for any swelling, tenderness, or lumps.
  6. Face – Lastly, examine the skin of your face, looking for any color changes, bumps, or sores.

If you’ve found anything that concerns you or to receive an oral cancer screening at our dental office, please don’t hesitate to contact Auburn Family Dental. Our family dentist office is located in Wichita, Kansas.

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