Screening for Oral Cancer
Written by DDS Miami
Early detection of oral cancer can give your smile and life a chance for a cure. With newer and more advanced forms of technology, detecting cancer at an early stage is possible. Detection is the first step to treating the problem. Oral cancer screening is more accessible to patients which aids in a greater chance of curing. This year alone, approximately 40,000 new oral cancer diagnoses have been made.
The sites at risk are the mouth, including the tongue, palates, cheek lining and within the oral cavity. According to the American Dental Association, the symptoms of oral cancer usually last more than two weeks (1).
Oral Cancer Symptoms:
A sore or irritation that doesn’t go away
Red or white patches
Pain, tenderness or numbness in mouth or lips
A lump, thickening, rough spot, crust or small eroded area
Difficulty chewing, swallowing, speaking or moving your tongue or jaw
A change in the way your teeth fit together when you close your mouth
*Feelings of a sore throat could also be a concerning sign, consider visiting your dentist if you have any of these symptoms for more than two weeks.
Oral Cancer Screening
Newer technologies are providing better screening results of oral cancer. For example, ViziLite Pro, a technology which uses fluorescence to visualize tissue within the mouth. This product allows dentists to view early lesion detection of cancer cells. DDS Miami will be using this technology to provide an elevated standard of care to their patients. Oral cancer is becoming an alarming trend, in 2017 alone about 50,000 americans were diagnosed with oral cancer. As with many other cancers, early detection can increase survival rates and patients can be provided less invasive treatments. According to the American Dental Association,
“Early detection may result in better treatment outcomes and may help keep you or someone you love from becoming one of the 10,030 people whose lives may be claimed this year by the disease. The 5-year survival rate of those diagnosed is approximately 60 percent.”(2).
Make sure to screen yourself for oral cancer, especially if you have any physical symptoms.