Oral and oropharyngeal cancers are on the rise. According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, over 50,000 new cases involving the mouth, tongue, tonsils and throat are expected to be diagnosed this year in the US. If found in early stages, 5 year survival rates are at 80-90%. Sadly, most cases are found in late stages and bring less than a 50% chance of survival at the 5-year mark.
While yearly screenings by a dental professional are vital for early diagnosis if a problem should arise, a new campaign called Check Your Mouth now provides tools to aid in self-discovery of potentially dangerous abnormalities. CheckYourMouth.org is an interactive website that provides step by step instructions on how to perform a thorough self-examination, a demonstration video and access to an illuminated tongue depressor called Throat Scope™. Throat Scope™ is an effective and affordable light source to help see areas of the mouth and throat that otherwise can be difficult to access.
Proactively monitoring for even subtle tissue changes can increase early discovery of cancerous or precancerous lesions. According to the website, “Your job is to catch a change early, and refer yourself to a professional to have them decide if it needs to be removed, treated, or monitored, or not.”
Visit www.CheckYourMouth.org for more information and start your self- examinations today.