Hi all, this is a quite a different topic from my usual fashion and beauty post but I  decided that it needed attention. Back in December I got the opportunity to visit the Harley Dental Studio for an Oral Cancer Screening, with Dr Mark Hughes. Now the word Cancer is a touchy subject, but with Movember and Brest Cancer Awareness, I thought it was best to highlight Oral Cancer as it doesn't get much attention even though it  causes more deaths per number of cases than breast cancer, cervical cancer or melanomas.I know scary huh?

The low down on Oral Cancer
So you maybe thinking, well I'm young I don't really have to worry about this, but as with any   cancer it doesn't discriminate against age. Oral cancer is on the rise(over 6000 case are diagnosed each year) and mainly being caused by lifestyle habits such as smoking,excessive drinking,chewing tobacco and oral sex as it allows people with HPV to transmit the disease. If you have a lump, ulcer, red or white patch can be an early sign if it lasts 3 or more weeks and  you need to get it checked out. As Oral Cancer patients suffer  facial deformity, loss of teeth and damage to the tongue and throat, and so will have  difficulty in talking and eating in public.

How is it treated
The team and Dr Mark were so kind and helpful when I arrived and made me feel at ease. The disease and treatment were explained to me, and I felt I had a good understanding of the procedure.To start off, Dr Mark did a  physical examination of my mouth and neck to check if I had any lumps, red or white patches in my mouth.Then he did a more thorough examination with the VELscope Vx(device above) to see if I had any mouth abnormalities. The VELscope is used to detect abnormalities not seen with the naked eye. It doesn't hurt because it is non-invasive. The device shines a blue light into the mouth which causes the soft tissues to naturally fluoresce. Healthy tissues fluoresce in distinctive patterns and these are visibly disrupted by trauma or disease, making it possible to differentiate between normal and abnormal tissue.The treatment took 30 minuets and I was given the all clear, it wasn't scary at all.

Final Thoughts
Overall this was an eye opening experience for me, although I do not  do any of the lifestyle habits to cause oral cancer, and was given the all clear, I still feel compelled to talk about it. I learnt about a disease that is affecting many people around the world and the UK, which can be minimized due to lifestyle changes and early detection. If you or anyone you know has the symptoms please contact the Harley Street Dental Studio.


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