The Mouth Cancer Foundation is using November’s Mouth Cancer Action Month to encourage people to Bite Back at Mouth Cancer, a simple head and neck cancer check which can be carried out by anyone at home, at any time, but ideally once per month.
There are easy to do self-check tests for a variety of other cancers but there is nothing similar for mouth, head or neck cancer. Bite Back at Mouth Cancer shows members of the public what to look for and how to seek help if they find something out of the ordinary. They will become familiar with the signs and symptoms to look out for and learn to act sooner.
GP and TV Doctor, Dr Dawn Harper is backing the initiative and has taken part in a video to clearly show how to carry out the examination. She says “It is recommended that the self-check is done once a month after teeth have been cleaned and by everyone over the age of 16 years. It takes less than two minutes. To carry out the mouth test all you need is a mirror, good light source and clean fingers. It is that simple. At each step you are inspecting and feeling for any lumps, red or white patches, changes in colour or texture, lingering ulcers or anything unusual”.
The Bite Back at Mouth Cancer self-examination has been devised by Mouth Cancer Foundation Ambassadors, Consultant Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon, Mahesh Kumar and Dentist Philip Lewis.
The Self Examination
Face: 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.
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