ORAL CANCER SCREENING - Detects early-stage cancer
Regular Oral Cancer Screening Saves Lives Did you know that oral cancer is the sixth most common cancer in the world? Unfortunately, survival rates for mouth cancer haven’t changed much over the past 30 years. Oral cancer kills more people every year than skin cancer.
Historically, oral cancer has often been diagnosed when the disease reaches an advanced stage. In later stages, the oral cancer treatment is complicated and may be disfiguring. Sadly, half of these late-stage oral cancer patients die within five years of their diagnosis.
The good news is oral cancer is 90% curable in early-stage diagnoses.
Who Gets Oral Cancer? According to the Canadian Cancer Society, most people diagnosed with mouth cancer are over the age of 50. However, a 24-year American study noted a widely observed trend toward an increase in younger adults who develop oral cancer, without the associated lifestyle risk factors.
Dentists play a vital role in oral cancer screening and early diagnosis. The simple, easy and accessible screening process should be done on a regular basis as part of routine dental check-ups for everyone over 18 years of age.
What is Oral Cancer? Oral cancer is defined by the Canadian Dental Association as a disease resulting from abnormal cell growth in the mouth.
Pre-cancerous and cancerous lesions can occur:
- On the lip,
- Iinside the lips and the cheeks,
- On any part of the tongue even into the throat,
- On the roof of the mouth,
- On the floor of the mouth under the tongue, or
- On the gums.
Screening for mouth cancer involves a visual inspection by a trained dental professional combined with advanced screening technologies like ViziLite™ Plus.
Cancer Screening Technology: ViziLite™ Plus The FDA has approved an oral lesion identification and marking system called ViziLite™ Plus. This advanced screening tool allows our dentists and hygienists to identify possible soft tissue abnormalities that can become cancerous—long before those abnormalities become apparent to the naked eye. Twilight Dentistry recommends annual ViziLite™ Plus exams for everyone over 18 years of age.
How Does ViziLite™ Plus Work?
The ViziLite™ Plus Exam is a two-step process:
Step #1 – The dental patient rinses his or her mouth with the ViziLite™ rinse solution.
Step #2 – At the periodontal maintenance exam our experienced dental hygienist then passes the ViziLite™ Plus, a special light instrument, over the oral tissues treated with the rinse in Step #1.
Upon inspection with the ViziLite™ Plus light, normal healthy tissue will appear dark as it absorbs the light. Abnormal tissue will appear white as it reflects the light. If any abnormal tissues are identified, Twilight Dentistry’s dental professionals can determine what the appropriate next steps need to be. This screening system is based on technology that has been successfully used to identify similar abnormalities elsewhere in the body. Today, there are a number of success stories where ViziLite™ Plus has helped diagnose and treat pre-cancerous and cancerous mouth lesions with excellent results.
Twilight Dentistry is pleased to offer oral cancer screening with the ViziLite™ Plus System. Remember regular screening is key for early diagnoses and successful treatment of mouth cancer. Book your annual Oral Cancer Screening appointment with Twilight Dentistry today.
Oral Cancer Risk Factors by Patient Profile
- Lifestyle risk factors include:
- Tobacco use (any type, any age, within the last 10 years)
- Alcohol consumption of at least 1 drink per day (3 ounces of hard liquor, 4 ounces of wine, or 12 ounces of beer)
- Increased Risk:
- Patients aged 18-39 years with no lifestyle risk factors
- High Risk:
- Patients aged 40 and older with no lifestyle risk factors
- Patients aged 18-39 with lifestyle risk factors
- Highest Risk:
- Patients aged 40 years and older with lifestyle risk factors
- Patients with a history of oral cancer
- Other risk factors include:
- Immune deficiencies such as HIV & AIDS
- Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)