Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Trying to scare or educate us?

I like these little articles found all over the internet: "signs of  [insert disease name here]". I just found one this morning for signs of oral cancer.

Oral cancer is not something that has crossed my mind really. A few years ago I had a pocket appear in the back corner of my mouth and the dentist (stupidly) said to me "Well it doesn't look like cancer but you really should have Dr F look at it to be sure." Note: never say that to someone with cancer.

But these are the signs of it so you should see your dentist regularly:
  • A sore on the lips, gums, or inside of your mouth that bleeds easily and doesn't heal
  • A lump or thickening in the cheek that you can feel with your tongue
  • Loss of feeling or numbness in any part of your mouth
  • White or red patches on the gums, tongue or inside of mouth
  • Difficulty chewing or swallowing food
  • Soreness or unexplained pain in your mouth, or feeling that something is caught in your throat with no known cause
  • Swelling of the jaw causing dentures to fit poorly
  • Change in voice
Now that I have this list, what should I do? Of course there are little lumps and bumps inside my mouth that I can feel with my tongue. I don't have dentures so that one is out.

Now that I have this list I can obsess over it for as long as I can remember it.... That's the biggest problem. We get a list of signs to look out for whatever the ailment is. We read it. We think about it. Then our brains are full and it falls out, or we convince ourselves we have it and rush off to the medical professional insisting that we are going to die!!!!

Scared or educated? I'm not sure.

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