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Oral Cancer Screening

Oral Cancer

VIZILITE PLUS - A fluolescent lighting tool to chatch oral cancer before it's too late.

                                                  vizilite plus

Oral cancer is one of the most curable diseases when it's caught early. That's why the ViziLite Plus exam has been developed.  ViziLite Plus uses technology that has proven successful in identifying soft tissue abnormalities in other areas of the body.

An annual ViziLite Plus exam, in combination with a regular visual examination, provides a comprehensive oral screening procedure for patients at increased risk for oral cancer. The ViziLite Plus exam is painless and fast, and could help save your life. 

Most people are surprised to learn that one American dies every hour from oral cancer; a death rate that has remained virtually unchanged for more than 40 years. In fact, recent statistics published by the American Cancer Society indicate that while the incidence and death rates for cancers overall has decreased, the incidence of oral cancer has increased by 5.5% and the death rate has increased by 1.5%.

Oral cancer is far too often discovered in late stage development, the primary reason for the consistently high death rate. Oral cancer treatment often results in disfiguring effects on patients, and can seriously compromise their quality of life. Early detection and diagnosis can make a tremendous difference in life expectancy; oral cancer is 90% curable when found in its early stages. Unfortunately, 70% of oral cancers are diagnosed in the late stages, III and IV, leading to a five-year survival rate of 57%.

THE DEADLY STATISTICS

  • Every hour of every day, one American dies of oral cancer.
  • The mortality rate associated with oral cancer has not improved significantly in the last 40 years.
  • The death rate in the United States for oral cancer is higher than that of cervical cancer, Hodgkin's disease, cancer of the brain, liver, testes, kidney, or ovary.
  • More than 30,000 Americans will receive an oral cancer diagnosis this year. In five years, only 57% will still be alive.
  • 27% of oral cancer victims do not use tobacco or alcohol and have no other lifestyle risk factors.

Keep in mind that your mouth is one of your body's most important early warning systems. Don't ignore any suspicious lumps or sores. Should you discover something, make an appointment for a prompt examination. Early treatment may well be the key to complete recovery.

                  Call for your appointment to get you screening

                                        (909) 945-2002

Factors That May Cause Cancer

Research has identified a number of factors that may contribute to the development of oral cancer.The most common are the use of tobacco and alcohol. Others include poor oral hygiene, irritation caused by ill-fitting dentures and rough surfaces on teeth, poor nutrition, some chronic infections and combinations of these factors.

Studies have shown that the death rate from oral cancer is about four times higher for cigarette smokers than for nonsmokers. It is also widely believed in the medical field that the heat generated by smoking pipes and cigars irritates the mouth and can lead to lip cancer.

Those at an especially high risk of developing oral cancer are over 40 years of age, heavy drinkers and
smokers, or users of smokeless tobacco, including snuff.  Because the mouth is a region where changes can be easily seen, oral cancer can be detected in its early stages. Performing a self examination regularly will help in the early recognition and detection of oral cancer, and increase the chance for cure.

Oral and Maxillofacial surgeons recommendation

Oral and maxillofacial surgeons recommend that everyone perform an oral cancer self-exam each month. If you are at high risk for oral cancer — smoker, consumer of alcohol, user of smokeless tobacco, or snuff — you should see your general dentist for an annual exam.

An oral examination is performed using a bright light and a mirror:

  • remove any dentures
  • look and feel inside the lips and the front of gums
  • tilt head back to inspect and feel the roof of your mouth
  • pull the cheek out to see its inside surface as well as the back of the gums
  • pull out your tongue and look at all of its surfaces
  • feel for lumps or enlarged lymph nodes (glands) in both sides of the neck including under the lower jaw

Early Detection and Treatment Provide a Better Chance for Cure

When performing an oral cancer self-examination, look for the following:

  • white patches of the oral tissues — leukoplakia
  • red patches — erythroplakia
  • red and white patches — erythroleukoplakia 
  • a sore that fails to heal and bleeds easily
  • an abnormal lump or thickening of the tissues of the mouth 
  • chronic sore throat or hoarseness
  • difficulty in chewing or swallowing
  • a mass or lump in the neck 

Make sure to get a check up if you have any of these signs.   A biopsy will be recommeded.  A biopsy involves the removal of a piece of the suspicious tissue, which is then sent to a pathology laboratory for a microscopic examination that will accurately diagnose the problem. The biopsy report not only helps establish a diagnosis, but also enables the doctor to develop a specific plan of treatment.
 

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