Educating Patients about Oral Cancer

Eva: Do you get an oral cancer screening? Friend: I don’t know. What is it exactly? Eva: They pull your tongue out with a gauze until it’s uncomfortable so they can see the back borders of your tongue. Does your dentist or hygienist do that? Friend: Um, I’m not sure. Eva: Do they palpate your neck for lymph nodes? Friend: …

Chef’s Dentist Found Oral Cancer

I’m a chef and go to the dentist every 6 months. In October, my hygienist noticed an irritated area. I told her I bit my tongue. She mentioned that my teeth were sharp. In April when I returned, my tongue was still irritated. I told the dentist that I kept irritating the area coughing, sneezing, biting….and it just wasn’t healing. …

WHOSE Responsibility is it to Educate About Oral Cancer?

Whose responsibility is it to educate about the early signs of oral cancer, and that it even exists? If I had the slightest idea that the sore on my tongue had the potential of being cancer, I would have been more proactive about finding a solution to the constant pain. Instead, I was bounced between dentists and oral surgeons for …

You Are a 68 Year Old Diagnosed with Oral Cancer – Do treatment?

Choices a 68 year old will make after a Dx for oral cancer are very different from choices I made at age 33 with two young children. There are choices. Different surgeons make different recommendations; Radiation oncologists have different treatment plans. Sometimes the treatment might just be radiation and chemo with no surgery. Sometimes, all three. The 68 year old …

The Blessing of Survivorship

Eva, I read your survivor story in “Headway” the UPMC Cancer treatment publication. In many ways, your story is identical to mine…waking up crying from pain, the frustration of being bounced back and forth from dentist to primary care provider, and finally to a surgeon who had an immediate dx of cancer, Stage 4. The tumor started as a lesion …