Specialists in Oral Cancer Screening
Oral cancer is an abnormal growth of cells in the lips, tongue, mouth, and throat that may spread to other areas of the body. It is a devastating and deadly cancer that often goes unnoticed until it has progressed to later stages.
Statistics and consequences of oral cancer are humbling
- Approximately 100 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with oral cancer every day
- One person in the U.S. dies from oral cancer every hour
- Of these oral cancer fatalities, 70% were not screened regularly and when diagnosed were at a late malignancy stage
- 25% of all oral cancer victims have no risk factors
- Devastating facial effects generally attend late stage oral cancer
Treatment Options for Oral Cancer are Progressively Challenging
- Early stage treatment is usually limited to simple removal of the diseased tissue
- If the diseased tissue is not treated early and is invasive, treatment may involve removing a large portion of the tongue, lower jaw, or throat
- Treatment for later stage cancer that spreads to other areas of the body may involve chemotherapy, radiation, and surgical removal of tissue and organs
Risk Factors for Oral Cancer
- Previous history of oral cancer or precancerous lesions
- Tobacco use at all ages (cigarettes, cigars, pipes, smokeless tobacco)
- Alcohol consumption
- Marijuana use
- Age 40 or older
- Gender: men are twice as likely to develop oral cancer than women
- Human papillomavirus (HPV) 16/18 infection (a common and often unrecognized sexually transmitted virus)
Importance of Early Oral Cancer Detection
As oral cancer is 90% curable when detected early and as later detection can hold grave consequences, you should immediately schedule a TLC oral cancer screening if you are subject to any of the above risk factors. And as 25% of all oral cancer victims have no risk factors, you should schedule regular TLC “Recares” that include oral cancer screenings.
TLC Oral Cancer Screening
Although important, a visual oral cancer exam using just the eye fails to identify a majority of early lesions. It should be supplemented by chemiluminescent technology that has proven clinically successful in identifying suspicious abnormalities in the earliest stages of development.
That’s why at TLC Dental, we provide you with optimal oral cancer screening by using a combination of a careful visual examination and the ADA approved ViziLite Plus T Blue detection system. The latter begins with a desiccating (drying) pre-rinse that makes cell nuclei more visible to our special light. A temporary and non-toxic blue dye is applied to suspicious areas. The dye is retained only on lesions with active cells that are marked for further evaluation, monitoring, and diagnosis.
During the brief oral cancer screening you will enjoy the comfort of our signature “Gentle Dentistry.”
For definitions related to oral cancer consult Dr. Rothenberg’s Dental Dictionary.