Six Steps to a Thorough Oral Cancer Screening
After getting a second chance at life, it became Eva’s obligation to educate the public about the early signs of oral cancer. With an early diagnosis, oral cancer is far more survivable and curable. Eva Grayzel was recognized by The American Academy of Oral Medicine for SixStepScreening.org, and awarded an honorary membership.
Early-stage oral cancer is often painless and goes undetected. Every dental checkup should include a six-step screening.
- Early signs of oral cancer include a mouth sore that doesn’t heal quickly, a change in color or texture of the oral tissue, or persistent pain.
- Signs of tonsillar and base-of-tongue cancer include a chronic sore throat, difficulty swallowing or a lump in the neck.
- Ask your dental team if they have up-to-date knowledge and skills in early detection of oral cancer.
- 37,000 new cases of oral and oropharyngeal cancer are diagnosed in the U.S. annually, killing one person per hour.
- Young, non-smokers are the fastest growing segment of the population diagnosed with oral and oropharyngeal cancer.
- Oral cancer is survivable if detected early. Early detection saves lives!
Download and print the Six-Step Screening Card to bring to your next dental appointment.
Get informed. Know the early signs of oral cancer.
Step 1: Tongue ‘n Gauze
Extend your tongue as far as it can go, examining the sides and underside for white and red patches, and feels your tongue for lumps. NOTE: This is the most common site of oral cancers in non-smokers.
Step 2: Lip & Cheek Roll
Feel for lumps or bumps, looking for white or red areas that should not be there.
Step 3: Double-Digit Probe
Examine the floor of your mouth from the top and bottom simultaneously for lumps, looking for white and red patches.
Step 4: Palate Tickle
Check the roof of your mouth for lumps and area’s of softness on the hard palate, looking for white and red patch.
Step 5: Neck Caress
Palpate your neck for enlarged lymph nodes a possible sign of infection or something more serious.
Step 6: Tonsil Ahhhhhhh
Depress your tongue with a dental mirror, examining your tonsils for symmetry, enlargement, redness, or unusual bumps.
What Clients Are Saying
‘I had the privilege of attending your “show” at the Hinman Dental Meeting. By far it was the best and most impactful time for me regarding the oral cancer screening process and the consequences of taking it too lightly! I do the six-step screening that you described. I also use the VELScope as an adjunct, but after the 2 hours I spent with you I realized there was something I was missing…the human element. Underneath all the screenings of hard and soft tissue and the gadgets we use to detect anything that’s amiss, is a human being and there are consequences when we don’t do our job just right. The perspective from an oral cancer sufferer and survivor was something that I’d never heard before. Your great humor, wit, singing and rapping will be forever stuck in my head! Thank you for being a crusader. You are exactly what I needed and the dental profession needs as a whole.’
Christopher E. Roberts, DDS
Brushy Mountain Dental
‘Eva’s keynote presentation was an amazing way to start our conference. Moving, powerful, inspirational!’
Christine Wood, RDH, Executive Director
Association of State and Territorial Dental Directors
‘No one is more powerful than Eva in describing the human side of the story of survival. She moves hearts, articulating her fears and frustration turning them into an opportunity for growth.’
Brian Hill, CEO
The Oral Cancer Foundation
‘Eva – What a phenomenal presentation! You totally blew everyone away. I had high expectations – and you exceeded them. You are a unique individual, and I admire the way you are reaching out and touching people’s lives.’
Andrea Abelman, DMD, MS
Seattle Study Club of Atlanta
‘People need to have hope; Eva delivers it.’
Juli Kagan, Participant
Florida Institute For Periodontics & Dental Implants
‘You opened our eyes. Our office is forever changed after hearing your story.’
R. Todd Weaver, DMD, FAGD
Weaver, Reckner & Reinhart Dental Associates
‘Three times and I never tire of hearing Eva’s story.’
Jerry Wilck, DDS
‘I am a better clinician because of Eva’s story.’
Jenna Hebert, RDH
‘During my 30 years attending dental conferences, I have never heard a more powerful message.’
Donna Sisitsky, RDH
‘Your presentation was one of the highlights at our annual meeting.’
Sandra L. Schwartz, MS, RN, CORLN, Executive Director
Society of Otorhinolaryngology and Head-Neck Nurses
‘We know all about Oral Cancer. We know what it does. Eva made us experience it.’
Glenn Reaves, DDS
New York Mills, NY
‘Eva’s story is a powerful teaching tool, one you are not likely to forget.’
Caroline Shiboski, DDS., PhD., Director Oral Medicine Clinical Center
University of California San Francisco
‘I wanted to take a moment to let you know how much I enjoyed listening to your story at OSU.Hearing your personal reflection will definitely impact future patient interactions for all in attendance. Your inspiring message and emotion will stay with me. Thank you for all that you do to educate and bring light to a subject which is dark in so many ways. Hearing specifics regarding the family impact of this disease was particularly eye opening.’
Kristen McNamara, DDS MS, Assistant Professor, Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology
The Ohio State University College of Dentistry
‘Eva is captivating and touch your life and soul in a way no faculty member possibly can.’
Michael A. Siegel, DDS, MS
Professor and Chairman, Department of Diagnostic Sciences
Nova Southeastern University, College of Dental Medicine
‘You brought the importance of it home.’
Fonda Robinson, DMD
University of Kentucky, College of Dentistry
‘An attractive feature of Eva’s lecture is its human nature component, offering dental professionals a refreshing change from the academic perspective of professional meetings as well as a unique window into the patient experience.’
Allan Hovan, DMD
British Columbia Cancer Agency
I am so pleased that I was able to attend your talk today. I am just beginning to see patients as a dental hygiene student and while I was taught a complete head/neck exam, I didn’t know what exactly I was supposed to be looking for. Now I know and your story has motivated me to catch any and all sign of oral cancer on my patients. Thank you!
Brooke Prater, Dental Hygiene Student
The OSU College of Dentistry, Division of Dental Hygiene
‘The most engaging lecture I have ever heard. Eva’s personalized message instilled in me a greater desire to learn.’
University of California San Francisco Dental School
‘She truly opened my eyes to the type of practitioner I want to be.’
New York University, College of Dentistry
‘Your words deeply affected me, as a future dentist and as an individual.’
Vlad Botezatu, Student
Tufts University, School of Dental Medicine
‘You have chosen to empower healthcare professionals with knowledge, reminding us that we don’t treat diseases, we treat people.’
Sarah Ann Passarella, Student
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Contact Eva for permission to use any part of the Six-Step Screening campaign. Copies of information on this site may be printed for personal use only. No part of this site may be reproduced or reused for any other purpose without prior written permission of Eva Grayzel.