This Mouth Cancer Action Month, we took part in Blue Wednesday to help raise awareness for Mouth Cancer, and how it can be prevented through a simple 45 second check.
At Oakenhurst, we’re passionate about Mouth Cancer and the dramatic affect it can have on an individual’s life and the people around them. In March 2009, Kevin Rogers joined our Auto Flight & Avionics Division from General Electric Aviation. He was an expert engineer working on GE gyros and was extremely knowledgeable about what he did. In the latter part of 2016, Kevin was having problems with a tooth abscess, and during the course of treatment from his dentist was eventually diagnosed with a cancer that had emanated from his jaw and moved on into other areas of his facial bone structure.
Kevin’s cancer was aggressive, and took his life not long after being diagnosed. In May 2017, at the age of 52, Kevin died from Mouth Cancer.
Kevin’s Mouth Cancer was diagnosed too late to be effectively treated, hence we’re trying to prevent the same from happening again. By quickly checking your mouth, gums, and throat for anything unusual, you can move forward by seeking professional guidance if you find something and potentially get diagnosed earlier, making the cancer more treatable.
On Blue Wednesday we wore Blue and had blue lips to make Mouth Cancer more visible, and spread awareness about how to catch it early. If diagnosed early, it can turn a 50% chance of beating mouth cancer into a 90% chance, so it’s crucial to know what to look for and that you don’t hesitate to seek advice from a health professional.
A mouth ulcer that does not heal within three weeks, red or white patches in the mouth and unusual lumps or swellings in the mouth or head and neck area, can all be potential signs of mouth cancer so it’s important to be aware of any changes occurring inside your mouth. Most of us will spend at least a few minutes every day in front of a mirror brushing our teeth. While you’re there it only makes sense to have a quick look inside your mouth as well.
The Chief Executive of the Oral Health Foundation, Dr Nigel Carter OBE added: “Mouth cancer can appear anywhere in the mouth including the lips, tongue, cheek, throat and gums. Mouth cancer can have a devastating effect on a person’s life, impacting on their breathing, eating and speech.”
When attending dental check-ups, your dentist will do a visual examination for mouth cancer and look for anything that might be a cause for concern. That’s why it’s so important to keep regular check-ups – it’s not just about the health of our teeth and gums.
To find out more information about mouth cancer and Mouth Cancer Action Month, visit www.mouthcancer.org