Colin Beattie, MSP for Midlothian North and Musselburgh, urges constituents to be wary of mouth and neck cancer.
This encouragement follows his attendance of the Check to Protect event held at Scottish Parliament, where he took the opportunity to learn about the signs of head and neck cancer.
The event was organised by BMS and Let’s Talk About Mouth Cancer, and gave MSPs the opportunity to learn about the diseases’ impact in Scotland. At the event, patient advocates spoke out about what life is like with the disease and medical professionals were on hand to demonstrate self-examination tactics.
Concerning the event, Mr Beattie stated,
‘I appreciated the opportunity to drop in to this eye opening event. I was surprised to learn that head and neck cancer area growing healthcare burden in Scotland, with mortality increasing by nearly 10% over the past decade. Luckily, the vast majority of head and neck cancer cases are preventable, so it is important to follow the steps for early diagnosis.
As I was taught at the event, self-examination is simple: check your lips, cheeks, tongue, roof of mouth, and floor of mouth for any sores or change in colour. Then use your fingers to check for any lumps, bumps or changes in texture.
As the diseases can affect smokers and non-smokers alike, I urge my constituents to check their own mouths for possible signs.’
More complete instructions for self-diagnosis can be found on the Let’s Talk About Mouth Cancer website, www.ltamc.org.