Artist: Mathieu Lacac


Family Health Care (FHC) is committed to prevention of oral cancer (through HPV vaccinations and tobacco abuse cessation support). We are also committed to early diagnosis which helps more people survive cancer of the mouth and throat. Please consider having an oral screening. During the month of March FHC will provide free oral screenings. Ask about the screen during check-in.

Vic had a long history of smoking, he also had genital warts, Tina had a history of multiple sexual partners and genital warts. (Gential warts are from HPV- Human Papilloma Virus which also causes anal, penile and cervical cancers). These risks made it more likely that either would develop oral cancer and they each did.
For Vic, it started as a small area on his tongue he described as like a "wart'. Over time it enlarged. He skipped dental visits and when he began to have speech changes he finally mentioned it to his doctor. Half his tongue was removed to to get rid of the cancer. Surgery and therapy has been a success.
For Tina, it began with a pulled tooth that did not heal. After several weeks, she returned to the dentist and an xray showed a progressive erosion of bone under where the tooth had been. It was cancer. Half of her jaw was removed and replaced with a portion of her hip bone. New specially fitted dentures have normalized her speech and eating.  
But, how nice if they had caught the problem sooner and had more localized surgery? 






Perform a six-step oral cancer self-exam each month.

Using a bright light and a mirror:

1 Remove any dentures

2 Look and feel inside the lips and the front of gums

3 Tilt head back to inspect and feel the roof of your mouth

4 Pull the cheek out to see its inside surface as well as the

back of the gums

5 Pull out your tongue and look at all of its surfaces

6 Feel for lumps or enlarged lymph nodes (glands) in both sides

of the neck including under the lower jaw


 Oral Cancer was most often associated with tobacco use, but studies now show that Human Papilloma Virus 16 (HPV), a sexually transmitted virus, is the fastest growing cause of oral cancer in the U.S.
Today oral cancer is found in increasingly young, healthy and nonsmoking individuals. Adults over 55 are especially at risk, but oral cancer and pre-cancerous lesions are found in people as young as 18.


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