As an punk-principled band known for its outspokenness, Green Day inadvertently helped create awareness by openly discussing Friday that their longtime touring guitarist Jason White had been diagnosed with tonsil cancer.

Green Day touring guitarist Jason White, courtesy

Green Day touring guitarist Jason White, courtesy

“Jason recently underwent a routine tonsillectomy, and his doctors discovered a treatable form of tonsil cancer. Thankfully they caught it early and he should make a full and speedy recovery,” they wrote in a media release on their website. “Please join us in sending him love and positive healing vibes during this time.”

Their openness should serve as a reminder to all to request an oral cancer screening during a regular dental checkup.

Each person should act as an advocate for his or her own health, and the offers a glimpse of what patients can expect from their dentist/healthcare provider.

  • An inspection of the face, neck, lips, and mouth to look for any signs of cancer as part of a comprehensive oral cancer screening.

  • Questions which, when answered honestly, might reveal things to the examiner that may direct them to explore a particular area in greater detail.

According to the, a few questions a patient should expect to hear:

  1. Have you noticed any changes in swallowing? Do things seem to stick or catch in your throat when you swallow?
  2. Have you had any chronic hoarseness?

  3. Have you noticed/felt any small lumps when feeling the side of your neck putting on makeup or shaving?

  4. Have you had any earaches that seem to persist, particularly only on one side?

  5. Have you or any of your friends noticed a change in your voice?

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