With November being Mouth Cancer Awareness month, it is important to highlight the signs and symptoms of mouth cancer.
During a dental appointment, your dentist will naturally look for abnormalities within the mouth and these include signs of oral cancer. It is important that in between dental appointments you also take notice of what is going on inside your mouth. If you notice any changes is it essential you tell your dentist or doctor immediately.
Mouth cancer can develop in most parts of the mouth, including the lips, tongue, gums, cheek and the throat. If it is caught early, the chances of surviving mouth cancer are nine out of ten – those odds are pretty good, and that’s why early detection is so important.
– If in doubt, get checked out.
It can be hard to spot symptoms of mouth cancer, which is why it is important to regularly attend your dental appointments. Your dentist can perform a check-up and look for slight abnormalities that you might otherwise miss. If anything is found, your dentist will provide onward referral to a specialist for further investigation.
Given that early detection is so crucial for survival, it’s extremely important that we all know what to look out for. In between dental appointments you should look out for changes in your mouth health that could indicate mouth cancer.
Signs & Symptoms of Mouth Cancer:
Three signs and symptoms not to ignore are:
- Ulcers which do not heal within three weeks.
- Red and white patches in the mouth; or
- Unusual lumps or swellings in the mouth or head and neck area.
If you notice anything unusual in your mouth, it’s advisable to make an appointment with your dentist.
Checking for Mouth Cancer:
When checking for signs of mouth cancer you should follow the following routine:
Head and neck
Check if both sides look the same and search for any lumps, bumps or swellings that are only on one side of the face. Feel and press along the sides and front of your neck being alert to any tenderness or lumps to the touch.
Pull down your lower lip and look inside for any sores or changes in colour. Use your thumb and forefinger to feel the lip for any unusual lumps, bumps or changes in texture. Repeat this on the upper lip.
Use your finger to pull out your cheek so that they can see inside. Look for red, white or dark patches.
Then place your index finger inside your cheek, with your opposing thumb on the outside gently squeeze and roll the cheek to check for any lumps, tenderness or ulcers, repeat this action on the other cheek.
The roof of the mouth
With your head tilted back and mouth open wide, your dentist will look to see if there are any lumps or if there is any change in colour. They will run their ﬁnger on the roof of your mouth to feel for any lumps.
Examine your tongue, looking at the surface for any changes in colour or texture.
Stick out your tongue or move it from one side to another, again looking for any swelling, change in colour or ulcers. Finally, take a look at the underside of the tongue by placing the tip of your tongue on the roof of your mouth.
The floor of the mouth
Look at the floor of the mouth for changes in colour that are different than normal. Press your finger along the floor of your mouth and underside of your tongue to feel for any unusual lumps, swellings or ulcers.
If you find anything unusual in any of these areas, or are unsure of anything, visit your dentist or doctor as soon as possible.
The best ways to prevent mouth cancer:
- Cut down on alcohol consumption;
- Cut down or stop smoking;
- Getting the HPV vaccine, Gardasil 9; and
- Enjoy a healthy diet.
You can book a dental appointment with Temple Dental.
MARCH IS OVARIAN CANCER AWARENESS MONTH
A vital month raising awareness of ovarian cancer to improve early diagnosis to save lives.
More women died from ovarian cancer in the UK (4,227) than from all other gynaecological cancers combined in 2016, according to Cancer Research UK. However, worryingly one in five women in the UK (22%) mistakenly believe that a smear test (cervical screening) can detect ovarian cancer, according to research Target Ovarian Cancer carried out with YouGov.
We are committed to raising awareness of the disease.
Speak to one of our female GP’s about any concerns you may have about your gynaecological history and your families medical history. During your consultation, we will also conduct a breast check and pelvic examination.
“In the UK a woman dies every two hours from ovarian cancer, but the earlier the diagnosis the better the chances are” Professor Hani Gabra – Director of Ovarian Cancer Action Research Centre
What is ovarian cancer?
Ovarian cancer is when abnormal cells in the ovary begin to grow and divide in an uncontrolled way and eventually form a growth (tumour). Every year 7,300 women in the UK are diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
Who can get ovarian cancer?
The risk of developing ovarian cancer increases as you get older. The most common type of ovarian cancer is epithelial ovarian cancer, this usually occurs in women older than 50 years old. We don’t know exactly what causes epithelial ovarian cancer. But some factors may increase or reduce the risk.
Factors that increase the risk include:
- getting older
- inherited faulty genes
- having breast cancer before
Factors that may reduce the risk include:
- taking the contraceptive pill
- having children
Ovarian Cancer is notoriously difficult to spot.
With non-specific symptoms in the early stages. It is hoped that this new method of early diagnosis could help save lives.
How to recognise the symptoms of Ovarian Cancer:
Early Ovarian Cancer symptoms can be similar to those of other conditions, these some to watch out for:
- Persistent bloating – not bloating that comes and goes
- Pain in the lower stomach and pelvis
- Difficulty Eating and feeling full quickly
- Back pain
- Change in bowel habits
What should you do if you’re worried?
It is important to contact your GP as soon as possible if you spot any symptoms that are abnormal for you.
We understand talking about your concerns and having an examination can be quite worrying and for some, embarrassing, therefore, to make you as comfortable as possible, all our well woman services are booked with a female GP.
There is an Ovarian Cancer Blood Test – CA 125 available
Levels of protein CA125 in the blood are recognised as a marker for ovarian cancer. This simple and effective blood test will detect early stages of ovarian cancer. You can either have this as a stand-alone blood test or add it on to your medical for an additional cost. Please inquire for prices..
For more information about Fleet Street Clinic’s Women’s Health Services.
You can also book a GP appointment online.
OVARIAN CANCER AWARENESS MONTH
“In the UK a woman dies every two hours from ovarian cancer, but the earlier the diagnosis the better the chances” Professor Hani Gabra – Director of Ovarian Cancer Action Research Centre.
March marks Ovarian Cancer Awareness month and, at Fleet Street Clinic, we are working to support this important cause, spread awareness and highlight symptoms to help increase early detection.
Ovarian cancer is a common type of cancer with 1 in every 50 women in the UK being diagnosed in their lifetime.
Like with any other type of cancer, early detection saves lives. Your outcome depends on the stage of the cancer when it was diagnosed. This means how big it is and whether it has spread to other areas of the body. The earlier it is detected the easier it is to treat.
Unfortunately, the problem is Ovarian Cancer is notoriously difficult to spot.
Symptoms tend to be non-specific in the early stages which means it can often be mistaken for more common conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome. This can often lead to delays in diagnosing and increase the chance that the cancer will be identified at a later stage which can have an impact on your survival rate.
When diagnosed in the early stages 9 in 10 women will survive, which is why it is so important to be aware of your body and the symptoms of ovarian cancer.
HOW TO RECOGNISE THE SYMPTOMS OF OVARIAN CANCER
Early Ovarian Cancer symptoms can be similar to symptoms of other conditions. If you are experiencing any combination of these symptoms, it is important to seek medical advice to rule out Ovarian Cancer:
- Feeling full quickly
- Bloating or an increase in the size of your abdomen
- Needing to wee more frequently
- Loss of appetite
- Pain in the lower stomach and pelvis
- Unexplained weight loss
- Unexplained tiredness
- Changes to your bowel movements or symptoms similar to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
You should contact a GP as soon as possible if:
- You frequently feel bloated (more than 12 times a month)
- You are experiencing symptoms of ovarian cancer that do not go away
- You have a family history of ovarian cancer and are concerned about your risk
The general advice is that if something doesn’t feel right and someone new is happening to your body which is not normal for you, go see a doctor just in case.
It is important to know that the risk of Ovarian Cancer increases with age. You are at greater risk of Ovarian Cancer if you are over the age of 50 and so regular Ovarian Cancer screenings are a good idea. Perhaps including one within your annual health review would be beneficial for peace of mind.
Currently, there is no national ovarian cancer screening programme in place, however, there is the option of private healthcare.
This week is Cervical Cancer Prevention Week (#CCPW) and we’d like to remind all our patients that cervical cancer can be fatal – It is the most common cancer in women aged 35 and under.
Current UK statistics state:
> 2 women lose their lives to the disease every day
> 9 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer every day
> 75% of cervical cancers can be prevented by a smear test
Thousands of lives can be saved every year with better awareness and understanding of the symptoms of cervical cancer. Regular smear tests and having the HPV vaccine can dramatically decrease your chances of developing cervical cancer and will also assist in early detection.
Smear tests are extremely important and a major contributing factor to lowering the number of cervical cancer cases seen each year. On average, cervical screening helps save the lives of approximately 4,500 women in England every year, however, 1 in 4 women still don’t attend their smear test.
Smear tests are a method of detecting abnormal cells on the cervix, (the entrance to the womb). The detection and removal of abnormal cells can prevent cervical cancer from developing. As with all cancers, the earlier a problem is detected, the better the patient’s outcome.
Information on Cervical Cancer
Cervical cancer is not thought to be hereditary.
Cervical screening is not a test for cancer as screening programmes help to prevent cancer by detecting early abnormalities in the cervix, so they can be treated. If these abnormalities are left untreated they can lead to cancer of the cervix (the neck of the womb).
For more information: www.jostrust.org.uk
Breast Cancer Now’s ‘Wear it Pink’ day is one of the biggest fundraising events in the UK.
Thousands of amazing people will ‘Wear It Pink’ in their communities, schools or workplaces for the UK’s largest breast cancer charity, Breast Cancer Now. This Friday 19th October the staff of Fleet Street will show off their best pink garments to raise awareness and show solidarity for such a great charity.
‘’This year, 55,000 women will hear the words “it’s breast cancer”
Breast Cancer Now supports nearly 450 of the world’s best researchers across the UK and Ireland. Working together to help prevent breast cancer, help improve the lives of those dealing with it now and most importantly stop people from dying from the disease. Research holds the key to a future where all that changes. Ensuring women get to enjoy their best life whether that be watching their children grow up or travelling the globe. It’s about making sure women are always able to create a lifetime of memories with the people they love.
The Fleet Street Clinic is championing Breast Cancer Now’s goal, that by 2050, everyone who develops breast cancer will live – and live well. By our staff wearing pink, raising awareness and donating we can help get there and make life-saving research happen.
Well Woman Services
We have four female GPs specialising in women’s health. Women’s health is a focus for us, and one of our highest priorities.
Our Well Woman health checks are focused on protecting your well-being and meeting your exact needs. Each comprehensive medical is tailored to your circumstances and designed to screen for health problems at the earliest possible stage.
Well-woman health checks include:
- Recording your height, weight and body mass index (BMI)
- Blood pressure
- Breast examination (and instruction on breast self-examination)
- Cervical smear test
- Pelvic examination
- Urine test
- Blood tests