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Treatments - Oral Cancer

Oral Cancer (Mouth Cancer Screening) in South Kensington, London

Why is regular screening important?

At our state of the art surgery, Thurloe Street Dental, conveniently located moments away from South Kensington tube station in London, we provide cancer screening facilities for patients because we strongly believe in testing our patients for early signs of cancer before they develop any symptoms.

It is estimated that in the UK in the next 10 years around 60,000 people will be diagnosed with oral cancer. If undiagnosed, it is estimated that for around 30,000 will die.

Oral Cancer Screening is a quick and easy test done in the dental chair. Getting tested once a year is strongly recommended by the British Dental Health Foundation

What is oral cancer?

Just like cancer can effect other parts of the body, it can also effect parts of the mouth including cheeks, lips, throat and tongue.

Who can be affected by oral cancer?

In the UK, on average around 6,000 new cases of oral cancer are diagnosed every year. Oral cancer is more common among males and over forties. However, oral cancer cases in the UK are increasing and the increase has been noted amongst women and younger people. We recommend all adult patients at Thurloe Street Dental to have the oral cancer screening at least once a year.

What can cause oral cancer?

Oral cancer is more common among tobacco and alcohol users. Some traditional forms of tobacco, like chewing tobacco, pose a greater risk.
The consumption of alcohol increases the risk of oral cancer and mixed with tobacco use, the risk becomes even greater.

Sun exposure without protection can also cause cancer of the lips.

Oral cancer has recently been increasingly linked to the human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV is the major cause of cervical cancer and it is thought that it is fast becoming a major cause in oral cancer cases in the UK. Limiting the number of sexual partners and practising safe sex reduces the chances of contracting HPV.

What are the signs of oral cancer?

A white or a red patch that is consistent and has not healed for 3 weeks or a painless mouth ulcer can be a sign of oral cancer. Any such abnormalities should be checked out by the dentist.

How can mouth cancer be detected early?

We use the Microlux DL system during your dental examination. The dental examination is a thorough check up during which the dentist visually examines the inside of your mouth and your tongue with the help of a small mirror. Oral cancer screening is then performed using the Microlux DL system.

What is the procedure for the oral cancer / mouth cancer screening test?

The Microlux DL Oral Cancer Test involves the patient swishing around a liquid solution in their mouth for one minute and then spitting it out. This process dries out the inside of the mouth. Next Dr. Raza shines a specially designed light inside the patient’s mouth. Any abnormal lesions will appear white under the illumination and all healthy tissue will appear dark as it will absorb the light. If any abnormalities are identified, Dr. Raza will establish the next appropriate step depending on the findings. This may in some cases involve a referral outside the practice for a biopsy of the tissue to determine if it is cancerous.

How can mouth cancer be detected early?

Early detection increases success rates so we cannot recommend the Oral Cancer Screening enough! The earlier the abnormality is detected, the smaller the ulcer is likely to be. Regular dental health checks and yearly oral cancer screening make early detection possible.

How much does oral cancer (mouth cancer) screening cost?

At our state of the art dental surgery, we routinely screen local patients from South Kensington, Chelsea, Knightsbridge, Gloucester Road, Sloane Square, Fulham, Battersea, Clapham and all across London. The cost for oral cancer screening is £65. It is free of charge for our patients on the exclusive Smile for Life Patient Membership Plan, which is designed to keep you on top of your dental health.

Tip for a healthy mouth:

• Visit your dentist at least once a year and your hygienist at least twice a year.
• When brushing your teeth, be vigilant and look out for any abnormalities like ulcers (they can be painless) or any red or white patches. If you spot any, keep a close watch and anything that doesn’t go away for more than 2 weeks should be shown to the dentist.
• When exposed to the sun, use a lip balm with sun protection and avoid over exposure.
• Eat a well balanced diet rich in vitamins and nutrients.
• Cut down on your smoking and drinking.

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