Recent evidence suggest that oral cancer is on the rise and we want to take a more active role in increasing your awareness of the importance of oral cancer screening as well as provide the best possible care to our patients. With 36,000 Americans diagnosed yearly with oral cancer the dental office can be the first line of defense against cancer. There is a 90% chance of survival rate when detected early. We are seeing an increase in the HPV virus especially in the younger population so oral cancer screening is becoming more crucial everyday. Oral cancer has the worst 5 year survival rate of any cancer but if it is recognized early, then the chance of a cure/survival is good. Late detection is one of the primary causes of increased mortality rates from oral cancer.
Risk factors include, but not limited to, the following:
- Age – age 40 and older
- Tobacco Use or Vaping
- Drinking alcoholic beverages
- Oral HPV Virus – increasing in young adults
Even though you may not have any of the risk factors above, you are still at risk. CDC recommends an Annual Oral Cancer Screening Exam. Any delay could put you at risk of oral cancer not being detected at an early stage as oral cancer is often painless in the early stages.
With the advent of technology, we now have better tools to help spot cancer in its early stages. We have incorporated the ViziLite PRO Oral Exam system into our practice to provide better care to our patients.. The ViziLite PRO has been engineered to operate within the wavelength for optimal discrimination or abnormal oral lesions, and provides a fast and effective approach to detecting epithelial dysplasia, even in its earliest stages. This is a painless exam that will take approximately 1-2 minutes.