April is oral cancer awareness month. In our office we regularly screen our patients for head and neck cancers during your examinations. We encourage you to do a self-exam monthly at home using a bright light and mirror. There are six steps:
- Remove any dentures
- Look and feel inside the lips and the front of the gums.
- Tilt your head back to inspect and feel the roof of your mouth
- Pull the cheek out to inspect it as well as the inside surface of your gums
- Pull out the tongue and look at all of its surfaces
- Feel for lumps in your neck and under your jaw
Things to look for include
- White patches, red patches or white and red patches
- Areas that do not heal and bleed easily
- Lumps or thickening of the tissues
- Difficulty chewing or swallowing
- Chronic hoarseness
- A mass or lump in the neck
The preceding information is courtesy of the AAOMS. If you have any questions, please call our office 505-881-9767.