Finding cancer early is important for all cancers. Cancer screening means having a test to look for cancer that you do not know you have. Screening means that cancer may be found before it has grown very big or spread to other parts of your body.
Unfortunately there are NO formal screening tests or national screening programs for Head and Neck Cancer.
See the Signs and Symptoms for what you can do to look for early signs of Head and Neck Cancer.
If you smoke cigarettes or have other risk factors for oral cancer (mouth cancer), we recommend you have a check up with your dentist and your regular doctor every 6 months.
In Australia, two out of three people with fair skin will develop skin cancer before they are 70 years old. Some of these skin cancers will be in the head and neck region. If you are over 40 years old and have pale skin, it is a good idea to have your skin checked by a skin specialist (dermatologist) every 12 months, or more often if you have had a skin cancer already.
One cause of mouth or throat (oropharyngeal) cancer is the human papilloma virus (HPV), the same virus that causes cervical cancer. Australia has a vaccination program for boys and girls to protect them from HPV. You can find more information about this on the Department of Health and Aged Care website.
You know your own body better than anyone else. If you think that something isn’t right, or you notice any signs of Head and Neck Cancer, speak with a Doctor or Dentist.