Six step screening for oral cancer - from your dentist!

One of the biggest problems that I have read about with oral cancer is the late stage in which it is often found, sometimes too late, in that people die but also sometimes too late in that people end up having devastating surgery to survive. Surgery that to most seems utterly barbaric - but nevertheless without, would not survive.

Some of this can be stopped - how? By early screening and identification which comes from the front line of the oral cancer war - your Dentist.

Question - usually, we go for a 6 monthly check up at the dentist (certainly I believe that to be the case here in the UK), at those check ups how many times has your dentist purposely checked your entire mouth for anything other than your teeth and gums? Has your dentist ever felt your neck? I suspect not many, if at all. 

It is CRUCIAL that practicing dentists and those that are studying to become dentists apply a simple one minute check up to each and everyone of us EVERY TIME we sit in their chair.

Question to dentists - how many of you became a dentist to save a persons life? Probably none, yet it is in YOUR hands, you could stop someone having half their jaw and eye removed, you could stop someone having their tongue taken out, you could ultimately save a persons life just by adding a 60 second extension to your usual dental examination.

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I found this site six step screening  - founded by an oral cancer survivor Eva Grayzel (pictured left) - it makes for some interesting reading and although US biased, it is actually globally relevant.

Go have a read - and if you are about to have a dental check up, ask your dentist what they do to look for oral cancer and have they heard of six step screening?