The whole of November is officially Mouth Cancer Action Month, which is a great campaign for all dental practices to get involved in. As anyone working within the dental profession knows, oral cancer incidences are growing year on year, and this is a disease that can have a devastating impact on affected patient’s lives
If you haven’t done so already, you can register online at www.mouthcancer.org, which will include free posters that you can use to create a display in your patient waiting areas. This is a great way to build up some awareness about mouth cancer, a message that can be followed up during appointments. Discuss mouth cancer screening and let patients know that it’s nothing to be afraid of, but a normal part of every check up and a key reason why regular attendance is paramount.
It has now become fairly commonplace for us all to check various areas of the body for lumps and bumps, and as a whole we’re generally more aware of signs and symptoms that could be related to particular cancers. This is thanks to increased levels of awareness, but most people never really think about, or know what to look for, when it comes to mouth cancer. In fact, I bet you’ll find that many patients haven’t even heard of it.
Mouth Cancer Action Month is a great time to tell patients what they need to be aware of between appointments. Provide checklists that you can either put together yourselves, or purchase from the Mouth Cancer Action online shop where all proceeds go towards funding the campaign. You can also let them know that if they are in ANY doubt they should to call your practice and you will always fit them in quickly to put their mind at rest.
What should patients look out for?
- Ulcers that do not heal within three weeks
- Red or white patches in the mouth
- Unusual lumps or swellings in the mouth, head, and neck area
- Any other changes in the mouth, head, or neck area.
For more information about Mouth Cancer Action Month, visit www.mouthcancer.org.
- On 2nd November 2017