Oral Cancer Screening

Have you had your oral cancer screening? It may be more important than you think. A New York Times study shows that more than 60% of cases are found in the late stages, which dramatically drops the survival rate to a disappointing 59%. Oral cancer is also becoming more prevalent in patients who would normally be seen as “low risk” and is now believed to be linked with the human papilloma virus (HPV 16/18). Tests are still under review for why this is the case but scientists and medical professionals highly suggest that adults are screened for all types of cancers, even if there are no cancer symptoms.

According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, an estimated 42,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral cancer this year. The death rate hasn’t significantly improved over the last decade either, resulting in about 8,000 deaths per year. One number that is especially astounding is that of those 42,000 diagnosed, only an estimated 43% will survive the following 5 years. This is why it is extremely important to identify the cancer before it is late in its development.

How does an oral cancer screening work? Here at Aspen Dental, we use ViziLite® plus, a painless examination that gives our dentists a better chance to find any oral abnormalities you may have at their earliest possible stage. This exam uses  low intensity light that will expose the abnormal cancerous cells, which appear to glow under the light. This procedure takes all the guess work out of the equation and allows our dentists or hygienists to appropriately and quickly detect the early stages of oral cancer.

If you have any questions regarding oral cancer or would like to schedule an appointment for an oral cancer screening, please give us a call at (303) 399-0400. We’re centrally located in the Cherry Creek area in Denver, CO and are here 6 days a week to serve even the busiest of patients. Also, please feel free to comment on this post with any questions you may have.

 

Oral Cancer Foundation: http://oralcancerfoundation.org/