Oral Cancer Screening
One of the most prevalent cancers in America today is oral or mouth cancer. That may surprise you, but it’s true. The good news is, when this cancer is detected and treated early enough, it has a 97-98% success rate. The bad news is, this cancer isn’t one people get tested for as often as needed and once the patient realizes there is a problem by noticing changes in his or her mouth, it is often too late to treat the cancer successfully. We aren’t giving you this information to scare you. We just want you to take care of yourself and stay healthy. And we can partner with you to make sure your mouth is healthy and can stay that way.
We offer oral cancer screening using the VELscope™ system. With this oral cancer screening system, we scan the inside of your mouth for any anomalies that can be cancerous or precancerous that cannot be detected with any other dental technology, much less the dentist’s own vision. The oral cancer screening will give us the clearest, most specific information, which we then will share with you. If there are any problems, we can partner with you about an appropriate course of treatment.
We do want to add that there are several ways you may be able to prevent oral cancer by looking at the most common reasons why people develop oral cancer, including:
- Smoking and Smokeless tobacco users — This is the largest reason why people develop oral cancer.
- Heavy alcohol consumption — There are still some doctors and other health officials that say moderate alcohol consumption is okay and may even enhance your health, but if your drink alcohol to excess, you run a much higher risk of oral cancer. Note: Over 25% of all oral cancers occur in people who do not smoke and who only drink alcohol occasionally.
- Family history of cancer — If members of your family have developed oral cancer, you will want to tell your dentist about this and make sure you get screened for oral cancer regularly. We can advise you about how often this may need to be.
- Excessive sun exposure — If you have been exposed to the sun, especially during childhood, you have a higher risk of oral cancer.
However, if you have none of these habits or concerns, we still recommend getting an oral cancer screening. We are happy to offer this service to all our valued patients. Call today!