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Can You Do A Oral Cancer Exam Yourself?
Posted on 10/19/2020 by Dr. Chad Rebhun
The word cancer is still terrifying to most patients. Despite this, many do not bother to pay attention to the warning signs when they have the potential for getting cancer. One of the places often overlooked is the mouth. This year alone, there will be 53,000 oral cancer diagnoses with over 9,000 of those dying from it which breaks down to approximately one death per hour, twenty-four hours a day. If that is not reason enough to perform an oral cancer exam, I do not know what is.
How to Give a Self-Exam for Oral Cancer
This is something that should be done monthly. It does not hurt to do it more often than that, but every thirty days is a must. Standing in front of the mirror, make sure there is a bright enough light to illuminate your entire mouth. Start by examining the outside of your mouth. Look at your cheeks and jawline. Run your hand over the tissue, feeling for any strange abnormalities. Look at your lips for any dark patches or sores that have been lingering. Open your mouth and look at the front of your gums and inside of your lips. If you tilt your head back, you should be able to examine the roof of your mouth as well. Opening your mouth, look at the inside of your cheeks by pinching them to pull them away from your teeth. You should inspect the back gums as well. Use your fingers to pinch and feel your tongue and examine the floor of your mouth beneath too. Look at the back of your throat as well for redness or odd growths. If you notice any lumps or sores that do not disappear in two weeks' time, you should come see us to evaluate your condition.
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