Most of our family dentistry patients are surprised to discover that oral cancer is diagnosed in over 30,000 people each year in the United States and that half of those diagnosed with mouth cancer die within 5 years. Oral cancer is more prevalent than many other types of cancer that receive more attention in the media and in medicine. The biggest threat of oral cancer is that many times it is not detected early enough.
In the past, a traditional oral cancer screening consisted of looking at and feeling the tissue in and around the mouth. Modern technology, however, has given us an even better way to conduct oral cancer screening and detect mouth cancer in its earliest stages.
Mouth Cancer Causes
- Tobacco use | This is the biggest contributor to oral cancer. If you smoke–quit.
- Alcohol consumption | Limit your alcohol intake to avoid getting mouth cancer. Your doctor and dentist will be able to give you more information for your specific treatment.
- Family history | Oral cancer, like other cancers, may run in your family. This is another reason why having oral cancer screenings are so important.
- Excessive exposure to the sun | If you spend a lot of time in the sun, or if you did as a child, you may be more prone to mouth cancer and getting an oral cancer screening is a good idea.
In addition to the traditional oral cancer screening, the doctor recommends each patient have a ViziLite® oral cancer screening exam done each year. The ViziLite oral cancer screening exam consists of an oral rinse and a special light that helps identify any abnormalities in the tissue in your mouth. ViziLite helps identify mouth cancer at its earliest stages, which can mean the difference between life and death.
Make sure to have a ViziLite oral cancer screening done each year for your dental health and your life. Call today! Your oral health–and your life–are important to us!