One person dies every hour from oral cancer in America. More than 34,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral or pharyngeal cancer this year.
The 5 year survival rate for oral cancer is only 50%. This is largely due to its difficulty in detection. Oral cancer is often not detected until its later metastatic stages. However, if found and treated at an early stage, oral cancer has a 90% survival rate.
Who is at risk for oral cancer?
- Those who heavily consume alcohol
- Users of chewing tobacco
- Over age 40
- Exposure to certain viruses (HPV-16) such as through sexual contact
Your dentist or dental hygienist will examine your head, neck, and mouth at every check-up to look for changes that may be cancerous.
If your notice any sore or spot in your mouth which does not seem to heal within 10-14 days or if you feel you are at risk, be sure to contact our office for an evaluation.
What is VELscope®?
Our office utilizes the VELscope® to aid in early detection of oral cancer. The VELscope® System is a revolutionary new technology that allows oral health care providers to easily detect abnormalities. It is the only device cleared by the FDA to help discover oral lesions that may not be seen by the naked eye.
A safe blue light is emitted into the oral cavity. Abnormal tissue typically appears as an irregular, dark area that stands out against the otherwise normal green of surrounding healthy tissue. It is quick, easy and painless.