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Oral cancer is found in the mouth and pharynx

Saturday, April 1, 2023 | Posted in GEHA Connection Dental Network News

Oral cancer is found in the mouth and pharynx (the area between the nose and mouth), at the back of the tongue, soft palate (roof of the mouth) and side and back walls of the throat and tonsils.

Monthly self-screening steps for early detection

  • Remove any dentures or oral appliances
  • Starting from the exterior, check for any swelling, pain, or tenderness on your face, jaw, and both sides of your neck, including your lymph nodes
  • Look for any swelling or texture changes on the lips
  • Hold each cheek and look for any color change, soreness or growth. Do the same for your gums.
  • Tilt backward with your mouth open to inspect the roof of your mouth
  • Stick out your tongue and raise it to the roof of your mouth to inspect the tissues underneath it. Look for red or white patches, sores that appear to have been there a while or anything abnormal.
  • If you have any concerns, talk to your health care team, especially if you have symptoms that don’t go away in a few weeks

Tips for preventing cancer

  • Eat healthy foods, including fruits and vegetables
  • Maintain a low-fat, low-sugar diet
  • Exercise to stay well and prevent obesity
  • Don’t use tobacco products and limit or cease alcohol consumption
  • Use lip balm with sun protection
  • Check for oral cancer symptoms monthly via self-evaluation
  • Talk with your dentist about repeated biting or chewing on tissue, or any other health concerns