The "Check Your Mouth" Campaign
The Check Your Mouth™ campaign was started in 2018 by the Oral Cancer Foundation and specifically the founder, Brian Hill, a stage IV oral cancer survivor himself. Why is this campaign so necessary?
The key to saving lives is earliest possible discovery of an abnormal finding. When an oral lesion is discovered in the early or localized stage, the five-year survival rates are impacted significantly. The concept of a self-examination of the head, neck and oral cavity follows other successful models such as ‘Do You Know Your ABCDE’s?’ initiated by the Skin Cancer Foundation. The concept was to educate the public on the importance of examining their skin and taking note of any new moles or growths, or any existing growths that have undergone change or become symptomatic. The clear message of the Check Your Mouth™ campaign is that self-examination of the face, neck and inside the mouth on a monthly basis is an important home care step in the detection of oral cancer. It is through this familiarity that a new finding will be most readily recognizable. A change in mouth tissue or a persistent finding that does not resolve within two weeks, should be further examined by a dental professional.
The Check Your Mouth™ website provides an educational video illustrating a step by step self-examination of the face, neck and inside the oral cavity and visually accessible areas of the oropharynx. An overview of what to look for with a visual gallery of normal vs. abnormal findings is included on the site. It is important to remember that oral cancer is typically aymptomatic and painless in early stages and is only diagnosed in late stages. The 5 year survival rates are only 50%. Early detection is imperative for oral cancer.